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D. H. LAWRENCE^S LETTERS
D. H. LAWRENCE'S LETTERS
EDITED BY HARRY T. MOORE
GOTHAM BOOK MART
Copyright i948 by Qotham Book "Mart, Inc.
The letters in this volume are pubHshed with the kind
permission of The Viking Press, holders of publication
rights in all letters of D. H. Lawrence.
PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
This book contains the letters D. H. Lawrence wrote to Ber-
trand Russell during the First World War, and Lawrence's
comments on the manuscript outline of a lecture-series Russell
This correspondence is not a miscellany: it dramatically tells
a story that has a beginning, a middle, and an end. For fullest
understanding of this material I have provided background in-
formation, I hope not excessively, in the Introduction. Further
explanations, for those interested in such matters, are supplied
in Appendix B, which gives the reasons for the order in which
the letters are arranged and for the conjectural dating of those
Lawrence left undated.
I hope that others who read these letters— and they are emi-
nently re-readable— will find them as rewarding as I have found
them. I also hope that their publication will help toward the long
overdue revival of interest in Lawrence. Readers do not have
to agree with Lawrence's ideas to find him one of the richest,
most exalting reading experiences in the modern world— it is
difficult to believe that so many people who like literature have
been depriving themselves of Lawrence's poems and novels.
Meanwhile, here is another contribution to Lawrence litera-
ture, one of the last important collections of Lawrenciana. This
book is the idea of Miss Frances Stelofif of the Gotham Book
Mart, who owns these letters. I am grateful to her for assigning
me this pleasantest of editorial tasks. She and I are in turn grate-
ful to Mrs. Frieda Lawrence and to Mr. Bertrand Russell for
making publication of these letters possible. And my wife
Beatrice Reynolds Moore deserves my special thanks for her
encouragement and practical assistance.
Harry T. Moore
Bab son Institute
Wellesley ytills, Mass.
D. H. Lawrence's Letters to Bertrand Russell 27
Appendix A. Lawrence's Corrections on Russell's
Appendix B. A Note on the Chronology of the Letters 97
A page from Letter Number 1 1 facing page 53
A page from Russell's Manuscript showing
Lawrence's corrections 88
D. H. LAWRENCE'S LETTERS
The antagonistic friendship of D. H. Lawrence and Ber-
trand Russell endured for a little more than a year.
Not long after they met in 191 5, the two men planned to give
a series of lectures together in London. Both Lawrence and
Russell were opposed to war and were distressed by the one then
going on in Europe. But instead of establishing a common front,
they became involved in a little war of their own. Its story is
told in these twenty- three letters from Lawrence to Russell.
They contain some of Lawrence's most intense utterances,
for during that period (early 1915 to early 1916) he was going
through a tormenting spiritual crisis.
It was not only the war that agitated him: 1915 was the
year in which the most important book he had yet written was
suppressed because a magistrate decreed that this novel was in-
decent. For several years after the trouble over 7he Rainbow,
Lawrence found it almost impossible to earn money by writing,
and he had no other income. Later in the war he was to become
SO poor that he could not afford to buy fuel for his cottage— he
had to burn chips he picked up after trees had been cut down for
use in the war industries. Another cause of wretchedness at
the time was the hatred that he felt was being directed against
him by the authorities and by people in general because his wife
Most of Lawrence's closest friends during those troubled
years were aristocrats. With the exception of John Middleton
Murry and Katherine Mansfield, young writers who had not
yet come so far as he had along the road to recognition, Law-
rence's chief correspondents and associates during the period
were Lady Ottoline Morrell and Lady Cynthia Asquith. Law-
rence had a faculty similar to that of his German contemporary,
Rilke, for arousing sympathy in high-bom women. Lawrence's
wife, geh. Frieda von Richthofen, was a baroness.
Like Lawrence's influential women friends Lady Ottoline and
Lady Cynthia, Bertrand Russell belonged to one of the great
families of England, yet Lawrence, the coal miner's son, had
achieved enough to make him feel entitled to regard Russell and
himself as fellow-workers in the vineyard. The egalitarian who
had written Sons and Lovers and a number of highly praised
poems and stories felt he could assume with Russell the you-
Not that Lawrence in his proudest moments could have seri-
ously compared his own accomplishments up to that time with
those of Russell. A few years before, Russell had collaborated
with Alfred North Whitehead on Vrincipia Mathematica, rec-
ognized from the first as one of the masterpieces in its field.
Russell had written other important books, and his position on
the faculty at Cambridge University no doubt impressed Law-
rence, who had not yet developed his contempt for professors
and erudition. In his youth Lawrence had been an excellent
student, had earned a high-school scholarship, and had one year
stood first in all England and Wales in the Uncertified Teachers'
Examination. His own record as a schoolmaster was a good one :
this man who was to become one of the age's most ferocious
enemies of science had been a successful teacher of science.
Lawrence had given up teaching in 1912 because of poor
health. From then on he made his living only by writing, though
from time to time he accepted donations from friends. Letter
Number 22 of the present volume, which asks Russell to re-
member him in his will, provides an example of the outrageous
coyness with which Lawrence could occasionally ask for money.
At the time of the first letters to Russell, who had been intro-
duced to the Lawrences by Lady Ottoline, the Lawrences were
living in a cottage at Greatham, in Sussex. They had been stay-
ing in Bucks, where during an illness Lawrence had grown the
red beard he wore the rest of his life; it gave him the look of a
prophet and it later symbolized his 'isolate manhood.'
Lawrence wrote to a friend in Nottingham about the new
home in Sussex :
It is the Meynell's place. You know Alice Meynell, Catholic poetess,
rescuer of Francis Thompson. The father took a big old farm house at
Greatham, then proceeded to give each of his children a cottage. Now
Viola lends us hers.*
The first letter of the present series (and a highly important
letter for the understanding of Lawrence) is dated '12 Feb.
><^ 191 5' and is addressed to 'Dear Mr. Russell.' Lawrence's salu-
tations in this correspondence tell an interesting part of the story.
They go from this Dear Mr. Russell to Dear Bertrand Russell
and Dear Russell, then, after a break, to a heartier Dear Bertie,
and at last to the formal extreme of My Dear Russell. Lawrence,
despite all his cheekiness, always felt smirched by the coal-grit
of the Nottingham mines, and even in his freest moments with
Russell he could not quite shake off the coUier's-boy-before-the-
At the beginning of the friendship Lawrence told Lady Otto-
line Morrel (apparently in early March, 1915), 'Bertrand Rus-
sell wrote me. I feel a quickening of love for him.' Huxley on
page 235 of his edition places this letter, datelined only 'Mon-
day,' after May 31, which is wrong by nearly three months.
^Lawrence in the text of the letter mentions the visit he will make
)(' I to Cambridge at the end of that week; it appears that he made
only one visit there, during the first weekend of March of 1 91 5.
Appendix B of the present volume, where reasons are given for
the affixing of dates to various letters on the basis of internal
* 7be Letters of D. "H. Lawrence, edited by Aldous Huxley (New York : The Viking
Press, 1932), p. 219. Hereafter this collection will be itemized as Huxley.
evidence, discusses Lawrence's disillusionment with Cambridge,
which_comes out in Letter Number 5 of the Russell correspond-
ence. Lawrence also speaks slightingly of Cambridge several
times in letters in the Huxley volume (pages 238 and 390).
And Frieda Lawrence, in her memoir of her husband, states that
'he had expected much' of his Cambridge visit, but that when
he returned he said: 'Wdl^injlie evening they drank port and
they walked up and down the room and talked about the Balkan
situation and things like that, and they know nothing about it.' *
Russell returned Lawrence's visit toward the end of June.
Lawrence's letter to Lady Ottoline on page 242 of the Huxley
edition, dated only 'Sunday,' tells her that Russell is at Grea-
tham. Since the weekend of June 19 is mentioned twice in the
Lawrence-Russell correspondence in the present volume, the
letter in Huxley may safely be dated Sunday, June 20, 1915
Lawrence complains to Lady Ottoline that Russell, 'apart from
philosophical mathematics,' tends to be limited by the immedi-
ate and the temporal and does not enter into the knowledge of
the Absolute. Lawrence, however, believes that he is giving
Russell a sense of eternity. He tells Lady Ottoline of their plan
for the London lectures; Russell will speak on ethics, Lawrence
on immortality, and they will establish a kind of religious soci-
ety, centered in the knowledge of God. This will lead to 'action.'
Lawrence wants Lady Ottoline to be president of the society,
♦Frieda Lawrence, '7<Jot J, But 7he Wind . . .' (Santa Fe: The Rydal Press, 1934),
and he wants also to draw in Gilbert Cannan (who was in a
few years to be certified as insane), Gordon Campbell (after-
ward Lord Glenavy), and the 'Murrys' (Murry and Katherine
Mansfield, later to be married). Lawrence suggests meetings at
Garsington, Lady Ottoline's estate in Oxfordshire, which is
'like that Boccaccio place where they told all the Decamerone/
Apparently that weekend of June 19-20 was the time when
the Lawrence-Russell lecture series was first thought of. It now
seems strange that these two men, so antipodal in temperament,
decided to give joint lectures. At the time they had a feeling of
fellowship, however : it has already been mentioned that both
of them were opposed to war, and that both had been shaken up
by the coming of the First World War. Russell wrote in 1927:
I had watched with growing anxiety the policies of all the European
great powers in the years before 1914, and was quite unable to accept
the superficial melodramatic explanations of the catastrophe which
were promulgated by the belligerent governments. . . . Civilization,
which I had thought secure, showed itself capable of generating destruc-
tive forces which threatened a disaster comparable to the fall of Rome.*
And in 1930 he stated:
I have never been so whole-hearted or so little troubled with hesita-
tion in any work as in the pacifist work that I did during the war. For
the first time I found something to do which involved my whole nature.
My previous abstract work had left my human interests unsatisfied,
and I had allowed them an occasional outlet by political speaking and
*Sekcted Papers of Bertrand Russell (New York: The Modern Library, 1927),
writing, more particularly on free trade and votes for women. The aris-
tocratic political tradition of the eighteenth and early nineteenth cen-
turies, which I had imbibed in childhood, had made me feel an instinc-
tive responsibility in regard to public affairs. And a strong parental
instinct, at that time not satisfied in a personal way, caused me to feel
a great indignation at the spectacle of the young men of Europe being
deceived and butchered in order to gratify the evil passions of their
Lawrence had been walking in Westmorland, 'rather happy,
with water-lilies twisted round [his] hat,' when he received news
of the outbreak of war. He described what he had felt at that
time, in a letter to Lady Cynthia Asquith the following January
30; he told her that the war 'was a spear through the side of all
sorrows and hopes/ Things had ceased to exist for him; he felt
that his soul was in the tomb, with a stone over it, and that neither
he nor anyone else existed. But he knew he would rise again.
This description of his spiritual death is of course partly
hyperbole, though other letters preceding this one, and the testi-
mony of Lawrence's friends, bear out that he was miserable at
the time. The letter to Lady Cynthia was written shortly after
the Lawrences arrived at Greatham; the coming resurrection he
speaks of had its first stirrings as he walked on the Sussex downs.
By the 1 st of February he was writing to Lady Ottoline in a vein
prophetic of the one he was to write her in (as we have already
seen) six months later; he tells her in this February 1 letter that
*Bertrand Russell and others, What 3 Believe (New York: Simon and Schuster,
1931), pp. 12-13.
she must be the center of a new community which will inspire a
new kind of life 'in which the only riches is integrity of charac-
ter/ This leads directly to the Russell correspondence, which
begins later that month : and, as we have seen, the men are by
June planning the lecture series.
By July 9, Lawrence is telling Lady Ottoline that Russell,
who has mailed him the synopsis of his lectures on Political
Ideals, still needs to break away from the shore of 'this existing
world' in a boat 'and preach from out the waters of eternity/
He hopes that Russell is not angry with him. And although he
has stopped writing his own philosophy until he is 'freer,' he feels
hopeful for 7he Rainbow as he corrects proof on it. He con-
tinues the seafaring metaphor : this novel 'is the voyage of dis-
covery towards the real and eternal and unknown land.'
And he spoke truly there: yhe Rainbow was a new beginning
for him. After Sons and Covers the way was open for Lawrence
to become one of the most popular of English novelists, perhaps
a successor to Meredith with the wide public that likes well-
written novels which are not too disturbing. Lawrence had a
supreme gift for evoking his native landscape, and he had a Dick-
ens-like talent for bringing a character to life with a few deft
strokes: if he merely exploited his skill along these lines, he
would have fame, comfort, and wealth.
But this was not Lawrence's way: he felt the challenge to go
in another direction, to explore the phases of human conscious-
ness that previous novels had not explored. All this was in the|
Zeitgeist, for it was only a few years since Freud had pried open
the Pandora's box of the Unconscious. Other novelists had been
working in consciousness-experiment techniques, those writers
who were Henry James's spiritual descendants— Joyce, Proust,
and Dorothy Richardson. But Lawrence's experiments were of
a different kind, since these authors were for the most part
investigating the mental aspects of consciousness. Lawrence was
exploring almost entirely its emotional properties. And the lyr-
icism which had from the first characterized his work was now
becoming infused with mysticism.
Russell was three years later to publish his attack on mysti-
cism, the book called Mysticism and Logic. Once when a young
writer (William Gerhardi) asked Russell if he ever resorted to
mysticism, Russell replied 'Yes, when I am humiliated.'
He and Lawrence differed on so many points that it would be
interesting to have a record of their conversations, at Garsing-
ton, London, Cambridge, and Greatham— what they said in the
give-and-take element of talk must have been quite as interesting
as what they wrote in letters. It is regrettable that Russell's let-
ters were not preserved, but his responses can be conjectured,
partly from Lawrence's own letters and partly from Russell's
known philosophic stand. Appendix A shows how completely
the two men agreed or dissented on various important issues.
Their main quarrel can be most simply described as one
between emotion and mind— or, in somewhat more philosophic
nomenclature, it can be called a quarrel between instinct (or
intuition) and reason (or intellect). Lawrence in 1913, not long
after completing Sons and Lovers, stated in a letter what was
essentially to be his philosophy for the rest of his life: 'My great
religion is a belief in the blood, the flesh, as being wiser than the
intellect. We can go wrong in our minds. But what our blood
feels and believes and says, is always true.' (Huxley, p. 96.)
/ In 1914 Russell had written, in Our Xnowledge of the Ex-
ternal World (delivered as lectures at American universities) :
The theoretical understanding of the world, which is the aim of
philosophy, is not a matter of great practical importance to animals, or
to savages, or even to most civilized men. It is hardly to be supposed,
therefore, that the rapid, rough and ready methods of instinct or intui-
tion will find in this field a favorable ground for their application. It is
the older kinds of activity, which bring out our kinship with remote
generations of animal and semi-human ancestors, that show intuition
at its best. In such matters as self-preservation and love, intuition will
act sometimes (though not always) with a swiftness and precision which
are astonishing to the critical intellect. But philosophy is not one of the
pursuits which illustrate our affinity with the past : it is a highly refined,
highly civilized pursuit, demanding, for its success, a certain liberation
from the life of instinct, and even, at times, a certain aloofness from all
mundane hopes and fears. It is not in philosophy, therefore, that we can
hope to see intuition at its best. On the contrary, since the true objects
of philosophy, and the habits of thought demanded for their apprehen-
sion, are strange, unusual, and remote, it is here, more almost than any-
where else, that intellect proves superior to intuition, and that quick
unanalyzed convictions are least deserving of uncritical acceptance.'
* Selected Papers of Bertrand Hussell, pp. 340-341.
The recurrence of such passages in Russell's writing shows
how far removed he was from Lawrence's 'blood-consciousness'
philosophy. Perhaps it was that parental instinct which Russell
ascribes to himself which made him remain friendly to Lawrence
for as long as he did, and certainly Lawrence felt a tenderness
for Russell, as the quotations from Lawrence's letters in the
foregoing have shown.
Along with that tenderness, Lawrence also felt exasperation
at times. In another letter to Lady Ottoline Morrell (Huxley
places this before June 1 but, as I show in Appendix B of the
present volume, we now have evidence that it should be given a
July date), Lawrence says that Russell is really too callow, that
he writes 'lachrymose letters' full of a disillusionment that seems
juvenile, and that he should 'clench his fist in the face of the
Lawrence was at this time twenty-nine years old; Russell was
At the beginning of August 1915 the Lawrences left Grea-
tham and took a flat in the Hampstead section of London. Ear-
lier in the month they went up to the city to look for furniture.
Lawrence talked with Russell and wrote Lady Ottoline a letter
headed 'Monday,' probably July 12, which tells of his disagree-
ment with Russell about 'the Infinite, the Absolute,' which Law-
rence felt to be the 'starting point ... on the journey toward
Truth.' But, Lawrence reports, the two of them 'have almost
On the 26th of July— Letter Number 12 of the present set-
Lawrence is scolding Russell. Ten days later he sends a short,
friendlier note (Number 13), though he is 'dislocated and un-
happy' after the move. On August 16, Lawrence tells Lady
Cynthia Asquith that he does not know whether the lectures
will ever begin : 'I don't see how I am to start. Russell and I were
to do something together. He was to give a real course on polit-
ical reconstruction ideas. But it is no good. He sent me a synopsis
of the lectures, and I can only think them pernicious. And now
his vanity is piqued, because I said they must be different. . . .
What does Russell really want? He wants to keep his own estab-
lished ego, his finite and ready-defined self intact, free from
contact and connection. He wants to be ultimately a free agent. :
That is what they all want ultimately— that is what is at the back
of all peace-for-ever and democratic control talk . . .' (Huxley,
pp. 250-251)— and he rails on for several more pages. Once he
says he feels like 'running off to some unformed South American
place'— one of the first stirrings, perhaps, of the idea he was to
develop later that year, of establishing an 'ideal' colony in the
Western Hemisphere. In complaining to Lady Cynthia that Rus-
sell's vanity was piqued because Lawrence said the lectures must
be different, Lawrence failed to mention that when he had used
that imperative (in the third paragraph of Letter Number 1 1 ,
'You must work out the idea of a new state ...'), he had under-
lined the brusque little word fifteen times.
Then, on the same day that he writes Letter Number 1 4 to
Russell— September 5— Lawrence tells Lady Cynthia that he
has quarreled deeply with Russell and that there will probably
be no lectures. Russell finally gave his own series.
Lawrence is now starting the magazine ITbe Signature, in
association with Murry and Katherine Mansfield, as he tells
both Russell and Lady Cynthia on that day (September 5),
inviting Russell to be a contributor.
Four days later Lawrence informs Lady Ottoline that he and
Russell have parted; it is 'for a little while/ and 'only in the natu-
ral course. The real development continues even in its negation,
under the winter.' But on the 14th of September he writes
Russell a blistering, accusatory letter, Number 1 5 in the present
volume, telling Lady Ottoline about it on the same day (p. 258
in Huxley's collection). It has made Lawrence both glad and
sorry, he informs her, to have written this letter, but it also has
made him want to find a corner to cry in, as when he was a child.
But by the 20th of September, when he tells Lady Cynthia about
it, he is feeling better, and the air is clearer, as after a thunder-
storm. Lawrence wrote across Russell's synopsis of the lectures
his own disagreement with Russell's ideas; Russell's synopsis of
his own set of lectures and Lawrence's comments are printed in
Appendix A of the present volume.
Lawrence's 'little paper,' 7he Signature, was part of his rela-
tionship with Murry, which was a counterpoise to his relation-
ship with Russell.
Ten years afterward, Lawrence spoke somewhat jeeringly of
yhe Signature, which he credits Murry with suggesting:
To me the venture meant nothing real : a little escapade. I don't be-
lieve in 'doing things' like that. In a great issue like the war, there was
nothing to be 'done,' in Murry's sense. There is still nothing to be
'done.' Probably not for many, many years will men start to 'do' some-
thing. And even then, only after they have changed gradually, and
Murry complained, in a book written after Lawrence's death,
that this statement was unfair. But Lawrence's correspondence
at the time does not indicate that he felt very much enthusiasm
for the project; it is true that he tried to induce friends to find
subscribers among 'those who cared' for 'the living truth,' and
once he expressed the hope that J^he Signature would be the
seed of a great new life, but in the main there is little earnestness
in his appeals— he seems less worked up about the magazine than
he had been about the lectures.
Yet Lawrence's essay which appeared in 7be Signature's three
numbers— The Crown'— represented his serious thinking at the
time; and ten years later he still cleaved to it essentially. But he ]
also stated that it was 'ridiculous' to offer this essay 'in a little
sixpenny pamphlet. I always felt ashamed, at the thought of the
few who sent their half-crowns. Happily they were few, and ;
they could read Murry. 't
*D. H. Lawrence, Reflections on the Death of a Porcupine and Other Essays
(Philadelphia: The Centaur Press, 1925). Pages in the introductory 'Note' are
Lawrence said that The Crown' is 'no use for a five minutes'
lunch'— and the present Introduction is in any event not the
appropriate place for a precis of that essay or a discussion of its
somewhat Manichean symbolism. The reader who studies it in
the Porcupine volume will find a relationship between it and the
Russell letters, though Lawrence revised the essay before it
appeared in that book so long afterward.
Murry's contribution to the three issues of ^The Signature was
an essay called There Was a Little Man.' In it he expressed his
attitude to the war : 'Passionately and from the depths of my
heart I say 'This monstrous thing does not exist"; there is no
real relation between it and me.'
It is interesting to consider the attitude to war that was held
over the years by these three men, Lawrence, Murry, and
Lawrence, in the chapter of %angaroo called The Night-
mare,' has told of his experiences on the occasions when he was
called up to be examined for military service. This is one of the
most vital descriptions of the backstage side of modern warfare
that has yet been written : Lawrence was known to be an objector
to war, and he was married to a German. A thin little man when
he took off his clothes and stood among the healthier specimens,
he felt that the doctors were trying to 'do him down'— and pos-
sibly they were. In JCangaroo, Lawrence's autobiographical
character Somers goes up to his native Midlands for one of his
He wondered what instructions they had had about him. Oh, foul dogs.
But they were very close on him now, very close. They were grinning
very close behind him, like hyaenas just going to bite. Yes, they were
running him to earth. They had exposed all his nakedness to jibes. And
they were pining, almost whimpering to give the last grab at him, and
haul him to earth, a victim. Finished !
But not yet! Oh, no, not yet. Not yet, not now, nor ever. Not while
life was life, should they lay hold of him. Never again. Never would he
be touched again. And because they had handled his private parts, and
looked into them, their eyes should burst and their hands should wither
and their hearts should rot. So he cursed them in his blood, with an
unremitting curse. ... He would obey no more, not one more stride. If
they summoned him he would disappear: or find some means of fighting
them. But no more obedience : no more presenting himself when called
up. By God, no ! Never while he lived again, would he be at the dis-
posal of society.*
This emotion recollected in untranquility was recorded some
years later at the remove of Australia: %angaroo, one of Law-
rence's least known and most profound novels, is a forcible
statement of individualism— and it is a book which indicates that,
although some parts of his doctrine a\ times apparently resem-
bled some parts of the Nazi doctrine, Lawrence would have
never advocated the realization of Nazism. In a police state
Lawrence would have hated the brutality more than most people
do, and he would have hated the muzzling more than anyone.
*D. H. Lawrence, Xangaroo (New York: Thomas Selzer, 1923), pp. 300-301.
Whether Lawrence would have supported the Allied cause
in the Second World War is a matter inviting conjecture. He
was certainly no more deeply pacifist than Russell, who did
support that cause. But it is debatable whether Lawrence would
have favored the large-scale bombing of cities or the use of the
atom bomb : we must remember how his spokesman-character in
Aaron's Rod, Rawdon Lilly, puts Aaron out of his flat because
Aaron has defended the use of poison gas.
Yet these speculations as to what Lawrence's attitude might
be today are speculations in a void. It must be remembered that
from the time of Lawrence's death to the moment when Eng-
land and Germany were at war again, Europe passed through a
It was a decade that changed many men besides Russell,
whose 1916 collection of esssays, Justice in War Jime, chal-
lenged the British war aims and criticized the nation's foreign
policy. Russell was dismissed from his post at Trinity College,
Cambridge, his library was seized, and he was denied a passport
to America. He was imprisoned for four and a half months in
1918 (and while serving his sentence wrote Introduction to
Mathematical Philosophy], for condemning the use of Ameri-
can troops to quell labor disputes— under the Defense of the
Realm act, the article he published on the subject was considered
endangering to Anglo-American unity, although the material
that the article was based on came from an official publication
of the United States Government.
Russell's attitude toward the Allied aims in the Second World
War was, as I have already mentioned, quite different: he sup-
ported the opponents of Nazism. And he became once again a
member of the faculty at Cambridge. He had inherited his earl-
dom, though he does not himself use the title. His recent beliefs
about war and the future of mankind have been partly expressed
in an article in a British magazine; in this he has stated his belief
in the possibility that humanity, although on the edge of self-
destruction, can yet be persuaded to take measures for survival.
In Russell's allowance, these measures will have to be militant :
It is entirely clear that there is only one way in which great wars can
be permanently prevented, and that is the establishment of an inter-
national government with a monopoly of serious armed force. When I
speak of an international government, I mean one that really governs,
not an amiable fa(;;ade like the League of Nations, or a pretentious sham
like the United Nations under its present constitution. An international
government, if it is to be able to preserve peace, must have the only
atomic bombs, the only plant for producing them, the only air force, the
only battleships, and, generally, whatever is necessary to make it irre-
sistible. Its atomic staff, its air squadrons, the crews of its battleships,
and its infantry regiments must each severally be composed of men of
many different nations; there must be no possibility of a development
of national feeling in any unit larger than a company. Every member of
the international armed force should be carefully trained in loyalty to
the international government.*
Now, to complete the picture, what of Lawrence's other close
*'The Atomic Bomb and the Prevention of War/ Polemic, No. 4 (July- August
1946), pp. 16-17.
friend of the 1915-16 period, Murry? His mutations are hard
to follow because on every question he has changed so often, and
in so many different directions. His intellectual chameleonism
has kept him from centralizing his talents on the activity for
which he is best fitted— literary criticism. His temperament has
led him down by-paths of nebulous theology and anagogic
socialism. In spite of this he has accomplished much; his studies
of Keats and his yhe Problem of Style should assure him of a
place among the better English critics of this half-century— these
books will certainly outlive his reputation for confused evan-
Nothing so decisively indicates Murry's continual switching
about as his attitudes to war. For, after taking a stand with
Lawrence against the continuance of the First World War (This
monstrous thing does not exist'), he went into the Admiralty on
a kind of public-relations assignment and emerged with an Order
of Merit. But in the Second World War, Murry was a Dick
Lawrence seems from the first to have had an inkling of
Murry 's tendency to be anfractuous; partly, his affection for
Murry kept him from realizing the worst possibilities of the
tendency. Lawrence's assurance to Lady Ottoline in the sum-
mer of 1915 does not quite have the ring of a firm assurance:
'Murry has a genuine side to his nature: so has Mrs. Murry.
Don't mistrust them. They are valuable, I know.' (Huxley,
The crisis of antagonism between Lawrence and Murry was
not to be reached until the following spring, in Cornwall. But
during the previous summer and autumn, Lawrence seemed
gradually to lose interest in the magazine venture with Murry,
as his correspondence at the time shows.
Lawrence had other matters to fill his mind. One was the
publication of Hhe Rainbow and its suppression; the other was
the scheme for going to America.
yhe Rainbow came out at the end of September and was
suppressed early in November. Some of Lawrence's friends ral-
lied to him; others disappointed him. Catherine Carswell lost her
reviewing assignment on the Glasgow Tier aid for having praised
the book. Philip Morrell, Lady Ottoline's husband, asked a
question in Parliament about the suppression. Lawrence wrote
Cynthia Asquith to inquire whether she and her husband (son
of the Prime Minister) could help; Lawrence reproachfully in-
formed Lady Cynthia that the book was not indecent, although
he had heard of her commenting in shocked tones that it was
*much worse' than the second story in Lawrence's earlier volume,
7he Prussian Officer. And Lawrence wrote Edward Marsh on
November 6, telling him that although he jeered at 7he Rain-
bow, it was one of the great English novels CI tell you, who
know'). Lawrence said he was sick, dreading another winter, and
wanted to go to Florida. Although he owed Marsh ten pounds
he needed more, would pay it back if he ever made any money;
he would give Marsh, who edited the Qeorgian Verse annual,
permanent possession of some of his future poems.
Money troubles (Marsh generously sent twenty pounds)
were not all that lay ahead of Lawrence: after the trip to Utopia
was planned, he and his wife were not allowed to leave England.
When he finally did get out, in 1 9 1 9, Lawrence never went back
again except for brief unhappy visits.
After a lapse of two months, the correspondence with Russell
; resumes on November 17, 1915, with Letter Number 16, evi-
I dently written in response to an invitation to dinner. At the end
I of November, Lawrence and Russell are at Garsington together
! with some other guests. In December, Lawrence writes Lady
I Ottoline that he again has hopes for 'Bertie,' who is 'growing
I much better' and is 'going to become young and new.' In Letter
! 18 to Russell, December 8, Lawrence is back at his blood-con-
sciousness philosophy again, and is giving Russell a compre-
hensive sermon on the subject. However antagonizing this may
have been to Russell, it is one of the great Lawrence letters, and
an important statement of doctrine he was developing. The next
letter, in this volume conjecturally dated December 23, invites
Russell to join the half-dozen or so young people in the Florida
The January 1 3 letter. Number 20, is one of the friendliest
of all, with its 'Dear Bertie' salutation and its cordial first para-
graph. Lawrence is now in Cornwall, a place with a stimulating
effect upon his writing power, and he gives Russell some word-
pictures of the landscape, its inhabitants, and its atmosphere.
This kind of impressionism is unusual in Lawrence's letters to
Russell, for in most of them Lawrence mutes his customary
descriptive utterances and keeps to philosophical discussion,
although this is often presented in the same urgent, repetitive
rhythms as his descriptions.
The two men mentioned in Letter 20 as being with the Law-
rences were among the young people in the Florida venture,
though they were soon to get out of the Lawrence camp. Philip
Heseltine was the composer who was later to use the pseudonym
Peter Warlock; Dikran Kouzoumdjian, already the author of
two books written under his Armenian patrilineal name, was
afterward to become famous as Michael Arlen.
Lawrence writes to Russell again, a month afterward, and
this time he tells about the book-publishing scheme, of which
Heseltine has been the leading inciter. Then, a little later,
Lawrence has received a communication from Russell which he
speaks of in a February 15 letter to Lady Ottoline: Russell
had sounded miserable, wondering why he went on living, and
though his lectures had been financially successful, they had had
no important influence. Only pride and obstinacy, Russell had
told Lawrence, kept him alive.
Lawrence a few days later (Letter 22) writes Russell slash-
ingly, but with 'love to you.' The following month he tries again,
in a cordial letter with a formal salutation and a friendly sugges-
tion of another visit to the Lawrences— and Russell seems never
to have answered.
What is the sequel?
It is largely the kind of small sniping that can be amusing and
that is often interesting.
Lawrence makes a few references to his former friend in his
later correspondence. He speaks sneeringly to Lady Cynthia in
December 1916 of 'that old advanced crowd— Cambridge,
Lowes Dickenson [sic], Bertie Russell, young reformers, Social-
ists, Fabians— they are our disease, not our hope.' (Huxley,
The friendship with Lady Ottoline faded, too, and when
Lawrence in bitterness wrote Women in Cove during 1916, in
stony Cornwall, he made her a monstrous character in the story.
(This was the final version of his old novel, The Sisters, begun
in the Tyrol three years before/ Ihe Rainbow was also an off-
shoot of The Sisters]. And although IV omen in Cove was com-
pleted in the middle of the war, it was not published in England
until 1921— and then there was consternation, when Lady Otto-
line recognized herself as Hermione Roddice, Heseltine discov-
ered himself as the decadent bohemian Halliday, and other
former friends of Lawrence found themselves diligently lam-
In the story, Hermione presides over a Midlands estate, Bred-
alby, which is really Garsington. She is herself portrayed as one
of the female tj^pes Lawrence abhorred most— the will-driven
woman. In one particularly intense scene she tries to brain the
Lawrence-man, Rupert Birkin, with a lump of lapis-lazuli, but
he holds a volume of Thucydides before his skull and fends off
the blow. Lawrence, in one of his 1916 letters to Lady Ottoline,
thanks her for sending him a volume of Thucydides.
Russell also appears to be caricatured in Women in Love,
recognizable among the guests at Bredalby as Sir Joshua Mal-
leson, 'a learned, dry Baronet of fifty, who was always making
witticisms and laughing at them heartily in a harsh^jiorsejaugh.
. . . [His] mental fibre was so tough as to be insentient.' The
stiff-bodied 'elderly sociologist' comes in for some more jibes and
in some of the discussions his statements are parodies of points
in the Russell philosophy— and he is of course confuted by the
brilliant Rupert Birkin.
Lawrence and Lady Ottoline were reconciled in 1928, when
he was composing £ady Chatterley's Cover in Italy. He wrote
her the kind of letter he sometimes bestowed on people whom he
had cruelly put into his books— people for whom he often felt a
nostalgic affection long afterward. He assured her that she was
a magnificent woman, an influence of great importance in many
lives. She was generous, she stirred the imagination, and he
wished they were all back at Garsington, starting afresh.
In one of his subsequent letters to her there is a final mention
of Russell: 'I was glad to hear of Bertie Russell. Perhaps he and
his Dora will do something, after all— better than his donning
away in Cambridge.' (Huxley, p. 792.)
Since Lawrence's death, Russell has a few times referred to
him in his writings/ he has sometimes attacked Lawrence philo-
sophically. In A Tlistory of Western Philosophy (1945), Russell
mentions Lawrence, without particularly condemning him, as
a progeny of the romantic movement.
One malicious echo of the Lawrence-Russell relationship
comes at second hand (or second ear) from an anecdote. William
Gerhardi, who had written a clever little novel called Ihe "Poly-
glots, was introduced around British literary circles in the mid-
dle 1920's as a bright young man, and he met both Lawrence
and Russell. He tells in his autobiography of talking with
Russell during a weekend at H. G. Wells's Easton Glebe:
...Bertrand Russell, whose eyes gleamed with loving-kindness, answered
my discreet inquiries into the realm of the Mind with the utmost willing-
ness and lucidity. Only when I mentioned D. H. Lawrence's theories
did the look of serenity fade in his large wise eyes, and a note of intel-
lectual fastidiousness crept into his voice, and he said 'Lawrence has no
mind.' He referred to the letters Lawrence wrote to him during the war,
and how, of course, he, Bertrand Russell, was not going to be instructed
in wisdom by D. H. Lawrence. A week later, meeting Lawrence, I told \
him how enchanted I had been by the lucidity, the suppleness and plia-
bility of Bertrand Russell's mind. He sniffed. 'Have you ever seen him
in a bathing-dress?' he asked. Toor Bertie Russell! He is all Disem- ',
bodied Mind!'* J
These two statements, 'Lawrence has no mind' and Toor
* William Gerhardi, IMemoirs of a Polyglot (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1931),
Bertie Russell is all Disembodied Mind/ epitomize the differ-
ences between the two men and provide the most effective epi-
taph to the disenchanted relationship of the mystagogic poet
and the mathematic logician.
D. H. LAWRENCE^S LETTERS
TO BERTRAND RUSSELL
Words that Lawrence crossed out are enclosed in JPrench cjuotation
marks » «. Bracketed dates in the letters' headings are the editor's con-
jectures, which are explained in Appendix B.
[LETTER 1 ]
12 Feb 1915
Dear Mr. Russell,
We have had E. M. Forster here for three days. There is more
in him than ever comes out. But he is not dead yet. I hope to see
him pregnant with his own soul. We were on the edge of a fierce
quarrel all the time. He went to bed muttering that he was not
sure we— my wife & I— were n't just playing round his knees : he
seized a candle & went to bed, neither would he say good night.
Which I think is rather nice. He sucks his dummy— you know,
those child's comforters— long after his age. But there is some-
thing very real in him, if he will not cause it to die. He is much
more than his dummy-sucking, clever little habits allow him
I write to say to you that we must start a solid basis of freedom
of actual living— not only of thinking. We must provide another
standard than the pecuniary standard, to measure all daily life
by. We must be free of the economic question. Economic life
must be the means to actual life. We must make it so at once.
There must be a revolution in the state. It shall begin by the
nationalising of all » radio « industries and means of communica-
tion, & of the land— in one fell blow. Then a man shall have his
wages whether he is sick or well or old— if anything prevents his
D. H. LAWRENCE S LETTERS
working, he shall have his wages just the same. So we shall not
live in fear of the wolf— no man amongst us, & no woman, shall
have any fear of the wolf at the door, for all wolves are dead.
Which practically solves the whole economic question for the
present. All dispossessed owners shall receive a proportionate
income— no capital recompense— for the space of, say fifty years.
Something like this must be done. It is no use saying a man's
soul should be free, if his boots hurt him so much he can't walk.
All our ideals are cant & hypocrisy till we have burst the fetters
of this money. Titan nailed on the rock of the modem industrial
capitalistic system, declaring in fine language that his soul is
free as the Oceanids that fly away on »the<< wings of aspiration,
while the bird of carrion desire gluts at his liver, is too shameful.
I am ashamed to write any real writing of passionate love to my
fellow men. Only satire is decent now. The rest is a lie. Until we
act, move, rip ourselves off the rock. So there must be an actual
revolution, to set free our bodies. For there never was a free soul
in a chained body. That is a lie. There might be a resigned soul.
But a resigned soul is not a free soul. A resigned soul has yielded
its claim on temporal living. It can only do this because the tem-
poral living is being done for it vicariously. Therefore it is de-
pendent on the vicar, let it say what it will. So Christ, who
resigned his life, only resigned it because he knew the others
would keep theirs. They would do the living, & would later adapt
his method to their living. The freedom of the soul within the
» chained « denied body is a sheer conceit.
D. H. LAWRENCE S LETTERS
Forster is not poor, but he is bound hand & foot bodily. Why?
Because he does not believe that any beauty or any divine utter-
ance is any good any more. Why? Because the world is suffer-
ing from bonds, and birds of foul desire which gnaw its liver.
Forster knows, as every thinking man now knows, that all his
thinking and his passion for humanity amounts to no more than
trying to soothe with poetry a man raging with pain which can
be cured. Cure the pain, don't give the poetry. Will all the
poetry in the world satisfy the manhood of Forster, when Forster
knows that his implicit manhood is to be satisfied by nothing
but immediate physical action. He tries to dodge himself— the
sight is pitiful.
But why can't he act? Why can't he take a woman and fight
clear to his own basic, primal being? Because he knows that self-
realisation is not his ultimate desire. His ultimate desire is for
the continued action which has been called the social passion—
the love for humanity— the desire to work for humanity. That is
every man's ultimate desire & need. Now you see the vicious
I circle. Shall I go to my Prometheus and tell him beautiful tales
of the free, whilst the vulture gnaws his liver? I am ashamed. I
turn my face aside from my Prometheus, ashamed of my vain,
irrelevant, impudent words. I cannot help Prometheus. And
this knowledge rots the love of activity.
If I cannot help Prometheus— and I am also Prometheus-
how shall I be able to take a woman? For I go to a woman to
know myself, and to know her. And I want to know myself, that
D. H. LAWRENCE S LETTERS
I may know how to act for humanity. But if I am aware that I
cannot act for humanity—? Then I dare not go to a woman.
Because, if I go, I know I shall betray myself & her & every-
thing. It will be a vicious circle. I go to her to know myself, & I
know myself— what?— to enjoy myself. That is sensationalism—
that I go to a woman to >>know<< feel myself only. Love is, that
I go to a woman to know myself, & knowing myself, to go fur-
ther, to explore in to the unknown, which is the woman, venture
in upon the coasts of the unknown, and open my discovery to all
humanity. But if I know that humanity is lame & cannot move,
bound and in pain and unable to come along, my offering it dis-
coveries is only a cynicism. Which I know & Forster knows &
even Gilbert Cannan knows. "They can't hear you," Gilbert
Cannan says of the public. "They turn you into a sensation.''
So he panders to the chained Prometheus, tickles him with near
sensations— a beastly thing to do. He writes Young Earnest.
If I know that humanity is chained to a rock, I cannot set set
[sic] forth to find it new lands to enter upon. If I do pretend to
set forth, I am a cheating, false merchant, seeking my own ends.
And I am ashamed to be that. I will not.
So then, how shall I come to a woman? To know myself first.
Well and good. But knowing myself is only preparing myself.
What for? For the adventure into the unexplored, the woman,
the whatever-it-is I am up against.— Then the actual heart says
"No no — I can't explore. Because an explorer is one sent forth
from a great body of people to open out new lands for their occu-
D. H. LAWRENCE S LETTERS
pation. But my people cannot even move— it is chained— para-
lysed. I am not an explorer. I am a curious, inquisitive man with
eyes that can only look for something to take back with him.
And what can I take back with me? Not revelation— only
curios— titillations. I am a curio hunter. ["]
Again, I am ashamed.
Well then, I am neither explorer nor curio hunter. What
then? For what do I come to a woman? To know myself. But
what when I know myself? What do I then embrace her for,
hold the unknown against me for? To repeat the experience of
self discovery. But I have discovered myself— I am not infinite.
Still I can repeat the experience. But it will not be discovery. Still
I can repeat the experience. —That is, I can get a sensation. The
repeating of a known reaction upon myself is sensationalism.
This is what nearly all English people now do. When a man^i
takes a woman, he is merely repeating a known reaction upon
himself, not seeking a new reaction, a discovery. And this is like
self-abuse or masterbation. [Lawrence's spelling.— Ed.] The
ordinary Englishman of the educated class goes to a woman now
to masterbate himself. Because he is not going for discovery or
new connection or progression, but only to repeat upon himself
a known reaction.
When this condition arrives, there is always Sodomy. The
man goes to the man to repeat this reaction upon himself. It is a
nearer form of masterbation. But still it has some of^/ect- there
are still two bodies instead of one. A man of strong soul has too
D. H. LAWRENCE S LETTERS
much honour for the other body— man or woman— to use it as a
means of masterbation. So he remains neutral, inactive. That is
Sodomy only means that a man knows he is chained to the
rock, so he will try to get the finest possible sensation out of
This happens whenever the form of any living becomes too
strong for the life within it : the clothes are more important than
the man: therefore the man must get his satisfaction beneath
Any man who takes a woman is up against the unknown.
And a man prefers rather to have nothing to do with a woman
than to have to slink away without answering the challenge. Or
if he is a mean souled man, he will use the woman to masterbate
There comes a point when the shell, the form of life, is a prison
to the life. Then the life must either concentrate on breaking the
shell, or it must turn round, turn in upon itself, and try infinite
variations of a known reaction upon itself. Which produces a
novelty. So that "The Rosary" is a new combination of known
re-actions— so is Gilbert Cannan's "Young Earnest''— so is the
cinematograph drama & all our drama & all our literature.
Or, the best thing such a life can do, that knows it is confined,
is to set-to to arrange and assort all the facts & knowledge of the
contained life. Which is what Plato did & what most of our
writers are doing on a mean scale. They know that they are
D. H. LAWRENCE S LETTERS
enclosed entirely by the shell, the form of living. There is no
going beyond it. They are bound down.
Now either we have to break the shell, the form, the whole
frame, or we have got to turn to this inward activity of setting
the house in order & drawing up a list before we die.
But we shall smash the frame. The land, the industries, the
means of communication & the pubHc amusements shall all be
nationalised. Every man shall have his wage till the day of his
death, whether he work or not, so long as he works when he is
fit. Every woman shall have her wage till the day of her death,
whether she work or not, so long as she works when she is fit-
keeps her house or rears her children.
Then, and then only, shall we be able to begin living. Then we
shall be able to begin to work. Then we can examine marriage
and love and all. Till then, we are fast within the hard, unliving,
You must have patience with me & understand me when my
language is not clear.
I shall come and see you on the Sunday, March 7th, if you
still invite me, because I want to meet Lowes Dickinson & the
good people you are going to introduce me to.
It is very nice and spring-like. The birds are beginning to sing.
I laugh at them. Their voices are quite rusty & stiff with a winter
of disuse. The blackbird goes at it so hard, to get his whistle
clear, & the wood-pigeon is so soon disheartened.
D. H. Lawrence
26 Feb. 1915
Dear Bertrand Russell,
Your letter was very kind to me, & somehow made me feel as
if I were impertinent— a bit. You have worked so hard in the
abstract beyond me, I feel as if I should never be where you have
been for so long, & are now— it is not my destiny. And if you are
there beyond me, I feel it impertinent to talk & write so vehe-
mently. I feel you are tolerant when you listen. Which is rather
saddening. I wish you'd tell me when I am foolish & over-
I have only to stick to my vision of a life when men are freer
from the immediate material things, where they need never be as
they are now on the defense against each other, largely because
of the struggle for existence, which is a real thing, even to those
who need not make the struggle. So a vision of a better life must
include a revolution of society. And one must fulfil ones vision
as much as possible. And the drama shall be between individual
men & women, not between nations & classes. And the great
living experience for every man is his adventure into the woman.
And the ultimate passion of every man is to » realise « be within
himself the whole of mankind— which I call social passion—
which is what brings to fruit your philosophical writings. The
D. H. LAWRENCE S LETTERS
man embraces in the woman all that is not himself, and from
that one resultant, from that embrace, comes every new action.
Apart from this, a man can only take that which is already
known, hold it to himself, and say "this is good— or true— and
this is not good, not true/' But this is only the sifting or re-stating
of that which is given, it is not the making of a new movement, a
I hope this doesn't sound all foolish to you.
I wrote a book about these things— I used to call it Le Qui
Savaire. I want now to re- write this stuff, & make it as good as I
can, & publish it in pamphlets, weekly or fortnightly, & so start
a campaign for »my<< this freer life. I want to talk about it when
I come to Cambridge. I want to come— I want to come on the
6th & stay to the 8tb— but are the two nights too long? I don't
want you to put up with my talk, when it is foolish, because you
think perhaps it is passionate. And it is not much good my asking
you about your work. I should have to study it a long time first.
And it is not in me. I feel quite sad, as if I talked a little vulgar
language of my own which nobody understood. But if people
all turn into stone or pillars of salt, one must still talk to them.
You must put off your » greater « further knowledge and experi-
ence, & talk to me my way, & be with me, or I feel a babbling idiot
& an intruder. My world is real, it is a true world, »& my heart
knows it.« & it is a world I have in my measure understood. But
no doubt you also have a true world, which I can't understand.
It makes me »very« sad to conclude that. But you must live in
D. H. Lawrence's letters I
my world, while I am there. Because it is also a real world. And
it is a world you can inhabit with me, if I can't inhabit yours with
I hope I shall see Lowes Dickinson too.
D. H. Lawrence
Will you tell me if I must bring evening suit : don't bother to
write if it is not necessary— but a line if it is
March 2 1915
I shall come on Saturday by the train arriving Cambridge
6 • 2, leaving Liverpool St. 4 • 50. But if I can get a week-end
ticket from London, and if it obliges me to come by another
train, I will send you a post card on Friday night. I hope that
I have finished my novel so am very glad. I am also very
excited about my novel. I feel like a bird in spring that is amazed
at the colours of its own coat.
Also I feel very profound about my book "The Signal''— Le
Gai Saver— or whatever it is— which I am re-beginning. It is my
revolutionary utterance. I take on a very important attitude of
profundity to it, & so feel happy.
Also I feel frightfully important coming to Cambridge— quite
momentous the occasion is to me. I don't want to be horribly
j impressed and intimidated, but am afraid I may be. I only care
about the revolution we shall have. But immediately I only want
us to be friends. But you are so shy & then I feel so clumsy, so
clownish. Don't make me see too many people at once, or I lose
D. H. LAWRENCE S LETTERS
my wits. I am afraid of concourses and clans and societies and
cliques— not so much of individuals. Truly I am rather afraid.
D. H. Lawrence
Thank you very much for the umbrella.
Monday [March 15,1915]
I wanted to write to you when there was something to write
about: also when I could send you some of the ''philosophy''.
But the time goes by, & I haven't done enough of the writing, &
there isn't any news. I shall send you the philosophy when I have
done these first crucial chapters. I cannot help being very much
interested in God & the devil— particularly the devil— and in
immortality. I cannot help writing about them in the ''philoso-
phy". But all the time I am struggling in the dark— very deep in
the dark— and cut off from everybody & everything. Sometimes
I seem to stumble into the light, for a day, or even two days-
then in I plunge again, God knows where & into what utter
darkness of chaos. I don't mind very much. But sometimes I am
afraid of the terrible things that are real, in the darkness, and
of the entire unreality of these things I see. It becomes like a
madness at last, to know one is all the time walking in a pale
assembly of an unreal world— this house, this furniture, the sky
& the earth— whilst oneself is all the while a piece of darkness
pulsating in shocks, & the shocks & the darkness are real. The
whole universe of darkness & dark passions— the subterranean
D. H. LAWRENCE S LETTERS
universe— not inferno, because that is ''after"— the subterranean
black universe of the things which have not yet had being— has
conquered for me now, & I can't escape. So I think with fear ofj
having to talk to anybody, because I can't talk.
But I wanted to write this to ask you please to be with me—
in the underworld— or at any rate to wait for me. Don't let me
go, that is all. Keep somewhere, in the darkness of reality, a
connection with me. I feel there is something to go through-
something very important. It may be it is only in my own soul—
but it seems to grow more & more looming, & this day time
reality becomes more & more unreal, as if one wrote from a grave
or a womb— they are the same thing, at opposite extremes. I
wish you would swear a sort of allegiance with me.
D. H. Lawrence
GREATHAM — PULBOROUGH — SUSSEX
Friday [March 19, 191 5]
It is true Cambridge made me very black & down. I cannot
bear its smell of rottenness, marsh-stagnancy. I get a melancholic
malaria. How can so sick people rise up? They must die first.
I was too sad to write my ''philosophy'' (forgive the word)
any more. I can't write it when I am depressed or hopeless. But
it comes back all right, the philosophy & the belief. God help
us, & give us endurance.
When will you come & see us? Don't lapse back from the
promise. Remember you will come & we will have a good time-
vogue la galere. Will ask Mr. Hardy if he will come & see us
during vacation— I should be glad.
You know Lady Ottoline is making us a cottage at Garsington
which she will lend to us. She is so generous, one shrinks a bit.
One feels one would rather give things to a woman so generous.
Do you think it will make an appreciable difference to her to
make the cottage?— to her weight of expenses?
Do you still speak at the W. D. C. of the nations kissing each
other, when your soul prowls the frontier all the time most jeal-
ously, to defend what it has & to seize what it can. It makes me
laugh when you admit it. But we are all like that. Only, let us
seize and defend that which is worth having, & which we want.
Saluti di cuore
D. H. Lawrence
Thrsday [sic] [April 29, 1915]
They are going to make me a bankrupt because I can*t— &
won't— pay the £150 of the divorce costs. I wouldn't pay them
if I were a millionaire— I would rather go to prison. Messrs
Goldberg Newall & Co, beasts, bugs, leeches, shall not have a
penny from me if I can help it.
Today a very unclean creature came & gave me a paper, say-
ing I must go on May 1 0th before the registrar & declare what
debts are owing me. Fm sorry to say the publishers owe about
£200, but as that is the last money I can possibly make for the
next two years, they won't take it all from me.
Would you believe it, the unclean object gave me 25/, & a
paper— & I had to sign the receipt "25/— for conduct money".
What conduct? I am still gazing blankly at the golden sovereign.
But I spat on it for luck.
I cannot tell you how this reinforces in me my utter hatred
of the whole establishment— the whole constitution of England
as it now stands. I wish I were a criminal instead of a bankrupt.
But softly— softly. I will do my best to lay a mine under their
So we shall come to town on May 8th. I hope we shall be able
D. H. LAWRENCE S LETTERS
to see you. I don't know where we shall stay, but I shall let you
Don't imagine I want any money— I don't. I wish I could tell
the registrar I had n't twopence— neither in hand nor owing.
But I can't, because Methuen owes me £190— to be paid when
this novel is published.
I wanted to write & tell you— I don't know why. But you can't
»tell« imagine how it wears on one, having at every moment to
resist this established world, & to know its unconscious hostility.
For I am hostile, hostile, hostile to all that is, in our public &
national life. I want to destroy it.
Let us know if you will be in town next weekend but one.
Herzliche— no, Freundliche Grusse, Frieda says.
D. H. Lawrence
GREATHAM — PULBOROUGH — SUSSEX
29 May 1915
If they hound you out of Trinity, so much the better: I am
glad. Entire separation, that is what must happen to one: not
even the nominal shelter left, not even the mere fact of inclusion
in the host. One must be entirely cast forth.
As for political revolution, that too must come. But now, only
the darkness thrusts more & more between us all, like a sword,
cutting us off entirely each from the other, severing us and
burying us each one separate in the utter darkness. After this
we shall know the change, we shall really move back in one
movement to the sun. Except a seed die, it bringeth not forth.
Only wait. Our death must be accomplished first, then we will
rise up. Only wait, & be ready. We shall have to sound the resur-
rection soon. Leave your Cambridge then: that is very good.
And let us die from this life, from this year of life, & rise up
when the winter is drawing over, after the time in the tomb. But
we are never dead. When everything else is gone, & there is no
touch nor sense of each other left, there is always the sense of \
God, of the Absolute. Our sense of the Absolute is the only sense !
left to us.
Soon we are leaving here. You must come & see us before we !
go, if you can. It is beautiful. We are one in allegiance, really,
D. H. LAWRENCE S LETTERS
you & I. We have one faith, we must unite in one fight. Wait
only a little while—
D. H. Lawrence
GREATHAM — PULBOROUGH
2 June 1915
We shall be very glad to see you on June 19th— ii we are still
here. If we want to go away I shall tell you.
I shall be glad when you have strangled the invincible respec-
tability that dogs your steps. What does it mean, really— Integer
Vitae Scelerisque purus? But before what tribunal? I refuse to
be judged by them. It is not for them to exculpate or to blame
me. They are not my peers. Where are my peers? I acknowledge
no more than five or six— not so many— in the world. But one
must take care of the pack. When they hunt together they are
very strong. Tiever expose yourself to the pack. Be careful of
them. Be rather their secret enemy, the secret enemy, working
to split up & dismember the pack from inside, not from outside.
Don't make attacks from outside. Don't give yourself into their
power. Don't do it.
And whoever dies, let us not die. Let us kill this hydra, this
pack, before we die.
I shall be glad to see you again. I shall give you my philosophy.
Hillaire [Hilaire] Belloc says, peace in two months. All the
Bellocites are convinced. I am not. I think like you, more death,
& ever more death, till the fire burns itself out. Let it be so— I am
willing. But I won't die. Let us remain & get a new start made,
when we can get a look in. Yrs
D. H. Lawrence
GREATHAM — PULBOROUGH
8 June 1915
I send you the first quarter of my philosophy. You must
n't think it bosh. I depend on you to help me with it. Don't go
against me, & say it doesn't interest you, or that there are beau-
tiful things in it, or something like that. But help me, & tell me
where I can say the thing better.
I got the Labour Leader with your article against Lord North-
cliffe. I think Lord Northcliffe wants sinking to the bottom, but
you do say rash things, & give yourself away. Let me beg you
not to get into trouble now, at this juncture. I do beg you to save
yourself for the great attack, later on, when the opportunity
comes. We must go much deeper & beyond Lord Northcliffe.
Let us wait a little while, till we can assemble the nucleus of a
new belief, get a new centre of attack, not using Labour Leaders
& so on.
We are going to Garsington Saturday— » Tuesday « Wednes-
day. I wonder if we shall see you there. At any rate you are
coming to us on the \9th. Then we will thresh out this business.
I wonder if you would like to meet Murry— but not this time.
D. H. Lawrence
Don't be rash now, against Northcliffes. They will fall.
[LETTER 1 0]
GREATHAM — PULBOROUGH
Wednesday [July 6, 1915]
Are you doing the lectures. I have dropped writing my phi-
losophy, but I go on working very hard in my soul. I shall lift
up my voice in the autumn, & in connection with you, not apart.
I have been wrong, much too Christian, in my philosophy. These
early Greeks have clarified my soul. I must drop all about God.
You must drop all your democracy. You must not believe in
"the people". One class is no better than another. It must be a
case of Wisdom, or Truth. Let the working classes be working
classes. That is the truth. There must be an aristocracy of people
»of<< who have wisdom, & there must be a Ruler: a Kaiser:
no Presidents & democracies. I shall write out Herakleitos, on
tablets of bronze.
''And it is law, too, to obey the Council of one."
"For what thought or wisdom have they? They follow the
poets & take the crowd as their teacher, knowing not that there
are many bad & few good. For even the best of them choose one
thing above all others, immortal glory among mortals: while
more of them are glutted like beasts."
"They vainly purify themselves by defiling themselves with
I am sure, now, that if we go on with the war, we shall be
beaten by Germany. I am sure that, unless the new spirit comes,
D. H. LAWRENCE S LETTERS
we shall be ^^ badly << irrecoverably beaten. Remember when you
write your lectures, that you are a beaten nation. We are a beaten
nation. It is no longer a case for satire or gibe or criticism. It is
for a new »hope,« truth, a further belief.
Also we must write together, not work apart.
I am rid of all my Christian religiosity. It was only a muddi-
ness. You need not mistrust me. In fact you don't.
In » about « a fortnight now I shall come to town.
Murry, on the Sunday, was himself again.
"If you do not expect the unexpected, you will not find it. For
it is hard to sought out, and difficult."
It is only the unexpected can help us now.
D. H. Lawrence
[LETTER 1 1 ]
Friday 15 July. 
In your lecture on the State, you must criticise the extant
democracy, the young idea. That is our enemy. This existing
phase is now in its collapse. What we must hasten to prevent
is this young democratic party from getting into power. The idea
of giving power to the hands of the working class is wrong. The
working man must elect the immediate government, of his
>>wife<< work, of his »home<< district, not the ultimate govern-
ment of the nation. There must be a body of chosen patricians.
There must be >>a<< woman governing equally with men, espe-
cially all the » domestic [?]<< inner half of life. The whole must
culminate in an absolute Dictator, & an equivalent Dictatrix.
There must be none of your bourgeois presidents of Republics.
The women's share must be equal with the men's. You must work
this out in your own way. But you must do it.
Can't you see the whole state is collapsing. Look at the Welsh
strike. This war is going to develop into the last great war be-
tween labour & capital. It will be a ghastly chaos of destruction,
if it is left to Labour to be constructive. The fight must imme-
diately be given a higher aim than the triumph of Labour, or we
shall have another French Revolution. The deadly Hydra now
is the hydra of Equality. Liberty, Equality & Fraternity is the
444X4-4mC* 'I^-**-^/^ '^ 44(^,^«>v*<V'V->u^*^ t-a..»ju:< KjAytyt^ C^^<y-tr^ ^
1^ _^ .„— — — -
A page from Letter Number 1 1
D. H. LAWRENCE S LETTERS
three-fanged serpent. You must have a government based upon
good, better & best. You must get this into your lectures, at
once. You are too old-fashioned. The back of your serpent is
A>>n<< new constructive idea of a new state is needed immedi-
ately. Criticism is unnecessary. It is behind the times. You must
work out the idea of a new state, not go on criticising this old
one. Get anybody & everybody to help— Orage, Shaw, anybody,
but it »1[?] « must be a new State. And the idea is, that every man
I shall vote according to his » higher <^ understanding, & that the
j highest understanding must dictate for the lower understandings.
I And the desire is to have a perfect government perfectly related
in all its parts, the highest aim of the government is the highest
good of the soul, of the individual, the fulfilment in the Infinite,
in the Absolute.
In a fortnight I shall come & take account of you
D. H. L.
[LETTER 1 2]
GREATHAM — PULBOROUGH
26 July 1915
I rather hated your letter, & am terrified of what you are
putting in your lectures. I don't want tyrants. But I don't believe
in democratic control. I think the working man is fit to elect
governors or overseers for his immediate circumstances, but for
no more. You must utterly revise the electorate. The working
man shall elect superiors for the things that concern him imme-
diately, no more. From the other classes, as they rise, shall be
elected the higher governors. The thing must culminate in one
real head, as every organic thing must— no foolish republics with
foolish presidents, but an elected King, something like Julius
Caesar. And as the men elect & govern the industrial side of life,
so the women must elect & govern the domestic side. And there
must be a rising rank of women governors, as of men, culminat-
ing in a woman Dictator, of equal authority with the supreme
Man. It is n't bosh, but rational sense. The whole thing must be
living. Above all there must be no democratic control— that is
the worst of all. There must be an elected aristocracy.
As for Horace [Horatio] Bottomley, a nation in a false system
acting in a false spirit will quite rightly choose him. But a nation
striving for the truth & the establishment of truth & right will
forget him in a second.
I shan't come to Garsington at once, because I am not quite
D. H. LAWRENCE S LETTERS
in the mood. We are going on Friday to the seaside, to Little-
hampton for a week. Then we go to London. Then we might
arrange a meeting all together at Garsington, if Lady Ottoline
can do with us.
I care only about the autumn venture— that must be a real
Frieda sends her greetings
D. H. Lawrence
We must have the same general ideas if we are going to be or to
do anything. I will listen gladly to all your ideas : but we must
put our ideas together. This is a united effort, or it is nothing—
a mere tiresome playing about, lecturing & so on. It is no mere
personal voice that must be raised : but a sound, living idea round
which we all rally.
[LETTER 1 3]
1 BYRON VILLAS
VALE OF HEALTH
5 Aug 1915
We are up here now for good— in the throes of furnishing. It
is a great struggle. But it won't take long. When it is sufficiently
done, let us go to Garsington if Lady Ottoline is free. At present
I am delivered up to chairs & tables & door-mats. You might
come up & see us on Saturday if you are in town. I am very dis-
located & unhappy in these new circumstances— but shall get
all right soon. We will put our heads together directly, though.
D. H. Lawrence
[LETTER 1 4]
1 BYRON VILLAS — VALE OF HEALTH — HAMPSTEAD N. W.
5 Sept 1915
We are going to start a little paper, myself & Murry & Kath-
arine Mansfield (Mrs Murry)— & you & Cannan if you care to
join. We have found a little printer in the East End, who will
print us a little booklet, leaves of the same size as the Mercure
de France, on decent paper, 36 pages of 36 lines each (about 10
words a line), 250 copies for £6: or 28 pages for £5. I think we
shall call it "The Signature''— which means a little booklet made
out of one folded leaf— also whatever else you like. At present,
we think of having 28 pages. It will be 10,000 words: that is
about 3000 words each. It will come out every fortnight, & will
be posted to subscribers. It is not for public sale (not at first, at
any rate), but we are going to get subscribers, people who care
about things, 2/6 subscription for 3 months (6 copies), postage
free. I shall be the preacher, Murry will be the revealer of the
individual soul with respect to the big questions, particularly he
will give an account of the real freedom of the individual soul,
as he conceives it; Katharine will do satirical sketches. You will
do something serious, I hope, & Gilbert can flounder prehistori-
250 half crowns are £3l"5"0. That would just pay for the
6 copies of 28 pages each, & for postage.
The thing would come out the first & third Monday in every
D. H. LAWRENCE S LETTERS
month, beginning the first Monday in October, if possible. The
printer must have the copy 1 5 days before pubHcation, because
he does everything himself.
I only want people who really care, & who really want a new
world, to subscribe. If we lose money, it can't be very much.
Murry & I will share that. At any rate we shall try the three
I wish, if you are in town, you would come & see us.
D. H. Lawrence
[LETTER 1 5 ]
On 'The Danger to Civilization''
BYRON VILLA — VALE OF HEALTH — HAMPSTEAD N W
14 Sept 1915
Vm going to quarrel with you again. You simply don't speak
the truth, you simply are not sincere. The article you send me
is a plausible lie, and I hate it. If it says some true things, that is
not the point. The fact is that you, in the Essay, are all the time
Your basic desire is the maximum of desire of war, you are
really the super-war-spirit. What you want is to jab and strike,
like the soldier with the bayonet, only you are sublimated into
words. And you are like a soldier who might jab»s« man after
man with his bayonet, saying ''this is for ultimate peace." The
soldier »is« would be a liar. And it isn't in the least true that
you, your basic self, want ultimate peace. You are satisfying in
an indirect, false way your lust to jab and strike. Either satisfy
it in a direct and honorable way, saying "I hate you all, liars
and swine, and am out to set upon you", or stick to mathema-
tics, where you can be true— But to come as the angel of peace-
no, I prefer Tirpitz a thousand times in that role.
You are simply full of repressed desires, which have become
savage and anti-social. And they come out in this sheep's cloth-
ing of peace propaganda. As a woman said to me, who had been
to one of your meetings: 'It seemed so strange, with his face
D. H. LAWRENCE S LETTERS
looking SO evil, to be talking about peace and love. He can't have
meant what he said/'
I believe in your inherent power for realising the truth. But I
don't believe in your will, not for a second. Your will is false and
>>dark<< cruel. You are too full of devilish repressions to be any-
thing but lustful and cruel. I would rather have the German
soldiers with rapine and cruelty, than you with your words of
goodness. It is the falsity I can't bear. I would n't care if you were
six times a murderer, so long as you said to yourself, "I am this."
The enemy of all mankind, you are, full of the lust of enmity.
It is not the hatred of falsehood which inspires you. It is the
hatred of people, »all people « of flesh and blood. It is a per-
verted, mental blood-lust. Why don't you own it.
Let us become strangers again, I think it is better.
D. H. Lawrence
[LETTER 1 6]
1, BYRON VILLAS,
17 Nov. 1915
I am sorry we have promised to go out to dinner on Thursday.
Could you come on Friday to tea, if you wish to leave town in
the afternoon. Lady Ottoline is coming I think to lunch.
Also I may have to stay in England a little longer, to fight for
my novel. Yesterday I heard from the Authors Society that they
will probably stand by me, because the book was condemned
wholly without reference to me. I don't want to stay, because
now we are ready, quite ready, to go. But if I must stay to fight
about the book, I will stay.
But you will come on Friday to see us. I shall be very glad
to talk to you again, to be friends. After all, my quarrelling
with you was largely a quarrelling with something in myself,
something I was struggling away from in myself.
D. H. Lawrence
Dec.  1915
1, BYRON VILLAS,
We want to go away to America, soon— on tKe 24th of this
month, if possible. Will you come up & see us one day this
week— Friday evening perhaps? I should be glad to see you
before we go: so would Frieda. We are not really enemies: it is
only a question of attitude.
I send you your book. Thank you very much for lending it
me. Do come and see us one day this week.
D. H. Lawrence
[ L E T T E R 1 8 ]
1 BYRON VILLAS —VALE OF HEALTH — HAMPSTEAD N. W.
8 Dec. 1915
I called to see you yesterday but you were out. I hope you
will come up and see us soon. —No definite developement in
I have been reading Frazer's Golden Bough and Totemism
& Exogamy. Now I am convinced of what I believed when I
was about twenty— that there is another seat of consciousness
than the brain & the nerve system : there is a blood-consciousness
which exists in us independently of the ordinary mental con-
sciousness, which depends on the eye as its source or connector.
There is the blood-consciousness, with the sexual connection
holding the same relation as the eye, in seeing, holds to the
mental consciousness. One lives, knows, and has one's being in
the blood, without any reference to nerves and brain. This is one
half of life, belonging to the darkness. And the tragedy of this
our life, and of your life, is that the mental and nerve conscious-
ness exerts a tyranny over the blood-consciousness and that
your will has gone completely over to the mental consciousness,
and is engaged in the destruction of your blood-being or blood-
consciousness, the final liberating of the one, which is only death
in result. Plato was the same. Now it is necessary for us to
realise that there is this other great half of our life active in the
darkness, the blood-relationship: that when I see, there is a
D. H. LAWRENCE S LETTERS
connection between my mental-consciousness and an outside
body, forming a percept; but at the same time, there is a trans-
mission through the darkness which is never absent from the
light, into my blood-consciousness: but in seeing, the blood-
percept is perhaps not strong. On the other hand, when I take
a woman, then the blood-percept is supreme, my blood-knowing
is overwhelming. There is a transmission, I don't know of what,
between her blood & mine, in the act of connection. So that
afterwards, even if she goes away, the blood-consciousness per-
sists between us, when the mental consciousness is suspended;
and I am formed then by my blood-consciousness, not by my
mind or nerves at all.
Similarly in the transmission from the blood of the mother to
the embryo in the womb, there goes the whole blood conscious-
ness. And when they say a mental image is sometimes trans-
mitted from the mother to the embryo, this is not the mental
image, but the blood-image. All living things, even plants, have
a blood-being. If a lizard falls on the breast of a pregnant
woman, then the blood-being of the lizard passes with a shock
into the blood-being of the woman, and is transferred to the
foetus, probably without intervention either of nerve or brain
consciousness. And this is the origin of totem : and for this reason
some tribes no doubt really were kangaroos: they contained
the blood-knowledge of the kangaroo.— And blood knowledge
comes either through the mother or through the sex— so that
D. H. LAWRENCE S LETTERS
dreams at puberty are as good an origin of the totem as the per-
cept of a pregnant woman.
This is very important to our living, that we should realise
that we have a blood-being, a blood-consciousness, a blood-soul,
complete and apart from the mental & nerve consciousness.
Do you know what science says about these things? It is very
important: the whole of our future life depends on it.
D. H. Lawrence
[LETTER 1 9]
Wednesday [December 22-23 [?], 1915]
I got your letter this morning: thank you for the £2. We sent
the reproductions to Lady Ottoline— they were really beautiful.
But I haven't had the bill yet: I will straighten up with you when
We go to Cornwall on Thursday— 3 Otb. The address is c/o
J D Beresford, Porthcothan St. Merryn, Padstow, Cornwall.
Come and see us there— & stay a week or so. Don't be so
despondent about your lectures.
We are waiting to go to Florida, for the others. We must go
as a little body: it is not a personal matter— it is a bigger thing.
There are several young people very anxious to come. I must
wait for them. I can't go without them. We shall be six or seven.
As soon as they are free to come, then we shall sail off. It is all
so complicated, because of money & the war. They are all very
young people. We can go & start a new life in a new spirit— a
spirit of coming together, not going apart. Won't you come to
Florida too? Do! It is hopeless to stay in England. Do you come
& be president of us.
It is so queer being up here at home. The colliers are queer
too. I wish you were here to have a talk. But more & more I real-
ise it is hopeless to stay in England.
Greetings from Frieda & me D. H. Lawrence
Thank you for sending the ticket to Barbara Low.
13 Jan 1916.
I have never written to you all the while we have been here,
and Tve thought about you nearly every day, wondering &
wondering what you are doing and how you are feeling; how
the lectures are now, & when you begin them, and how you feel
about them. Do write and let me know.
I owe you some money. We got those frescoes for 3 guineas.
That is, your share, 31/6. Therefore I owe you 8/6. I will
send it you, I won't forget.
I like being here very much. Cornwall isn't England. It isn't
really England, nor Christendom. It has another quality: of
King Arthur's days, that flicker of Celtic consciousness before it
was swamped under Norman and Teutonic waves. I like it very
much. I like the people also. They've got a curious softness, and
intimacy. I think they've lived from just the opposite principle
to Christianity: self -fulfilment and social destruction, instead of
social love & self-sacrifice. So here there is no social structure,
hardly, & the people have hardly any social self: only the imme-
diate intimate self. That's why they're generally disliked. And
that's why they were wreckers & smugglers & all antisocial
things. And that's why the roads are too dodgy to be grasped.
D. H. LAWRENCE S LETTERS
And that's why there is such a lovely intimate softness in the
I have suddenly launched off into my philosophy again. Now
this time I have got it— my heart is satisfied. I don't want to polish
it up, I am so pleased with it. I shall send it you when it is done
& typed out, and you must read it with pleasure.
At present Heseltine and Kouzoumdjian are here. I don't
know how long they will stay. It is a wee bit painful— these young
individualists are so disintegrated: are the young more sound
than the old? It seems to me they are much more sick.
We've got a jolly old farmhouse, & a good housekeeper. I wish
you could come & see us. Come & stay, when your lectures are
over, will you. Do come. We shall be here I think till the middle
of March— then where, I dont know.
We are just on the sea, looking down into a little cove. The
water smashes up the black rocks. It is nice. Then the bare,
unformed, uhrzeitig landscape— there really might be rock-hurl-
ing giants & odd pixies. If only it were n't all cut up into fields!
If only the Cornish had n't become foully and uglily Wesleyan.
What is going to become of the world? I wish we were off to
Florida. The desert is the only place.
Frieda sends her love, I mine.
D. H. Lawrence
Write & tell me how things are with you
[LETTER 2 1 ]
PORTHCOTHAN — ST. MERRYN — NORTH CORNWALL
11 Feb. 1916
My dear Russell,
I have been thinking about you and your lectures. Are they
really a success, & really vital? Are you really glad?— or only
excited? I want to know, truly.
I have been very seedy down here— really felt as if I should
die— but now am getting better quickly.
What a bitter thing it is, to feel swamped right over by these
seas of utter falsehood. One does really die. But one is not dead.
I have been thinking, the only idea is to found a publishing
company, that publishes for the sake of the truth. That is the
only way. The spoken word nowadays is almost bound to be
a lie: because the collective listening ear is a lie. I could never
speak truth to 20 collected people.
We must send round circulars for our publishing : begin with
The Rainbow: publish it at 7 /^, by subscription. When we
have a sufficient number of names to justify us, we could begin.
Then we could go on, print every other month a real book, if a
real book came. If no real book came, then we would wait till it
did. A book is a holy thing, & must be made so again.
Tell me how you are, & how things are with you, & if you agree
about the publishing concern.
D. H. Lawrence
[PORTHCOTHAN, ST MERRYN, CORNWALL]
Saturday [February 19, 1916]
My dear Russell,
1 did n't like your letter. What's the good of living as you do,
anyway. I don't believe your lectures are good. They are nearly
over, are n't they?
What's the good of sticking in the damned ship and harangu-
ing the merchant-pilgrims in their own language. Why don't
you drop overboard? Why don't you clear out of the whole
One must be an outlaw these days, not a teacher or preacher.
One must retire out of the herd & then fire bombs into it. You
said in your lecture on education that you did n't set much count
by the unconscious. That is sheer perversity. The whole of the
consciousness and the conscious content is old hat— the mill-
stone round your neck.
Do cut it— cut your will and leave your old self behind. Even
your mathematics are only dead truth: and no matter how fine
you grind the dead meat, you'll not bring it to life again.
Do stop working & writing altogether and become a creature
instead of a mechanical instrument. Do clear out of the whole
social ship. Do for your very pride's sake become a mere noth-
ing, a mole, a creature that feels its way & does n't think. Do
for heavens sake be a baby, & not a savant any more. Don't do
anything any more— but for heavens sake begin to fce— start at
D. H. LAWRENCE S LETTERS
the very beginning and be a perfect baby : in the name of courage.
Oh, and I want to ask you, when you make your will, do leave
me enough to live on. I want you to live for ever. But I want you
to make me in some part your heir.
We have got to clear out of this house in a week's time. We
are looking for another house. You had better come & live near
us : but not if you are going to be a thinker and a worker, only
if you are going to be a creature, an infant. The Murrys are
coming to live with us in April, they say.
Heseltine is starting the publishing scheme. I should n't won-
der if he would make something of it, if he is n't conscripted. I
feel as if we were all living on the edge of a precipice. Soon I
shall be penniless, & they'll shove me into munitions, & I shall
tell 'em what I think of 'em, & end my days in prison or a mad-
house. But I don't care. One can still write bombs. But I don't
want to be penniless and at their mercy. Life is very good of
itself, and I am terrified lest they should get me into their power.
They seem to me like an innumerable host of rats, & once they
get the scent, one is lost.
My love to you. Stop working and being an ego, & have the
courage to be a creature.
D. H. Lawrence
TINNERS ARMS, ZENNOR, ST. IVES, CORNWALL.
9 March 1916
My dear Russell,
Are you still cross with me for being a schoolmaster & for not
respecting the rights of man? Don't be, it isn't worth it.
Your lectures are over, are they? What are you going to do
We have taken a tiny cottage here, for £5 a year, which we
shall furnish. We shall live very cheaply, because we are going
to be very poor indeed. But just under the wild hills with their
great grey boulders of granite, and above the big sea, it is beau-
tiful enough, & free enough. I think we can be obscure, and
happy, like creatures in a cave.
You must come down to Cornwall some time and have rooms
in a farm-house. Will you do that?
One must learn to be happy & careless. The old world never
tumbles down except a young world shoves it over, heedlessly.
And Vm sure the young world must be jolly. So let us have a
good time to ourselves while the old world tumbles over itself.
It is no good bothering. Nothing is born by taking thought.
That which is born comes of itself. All we can do is to refrain
from frustrating the new world which »from<< is being born in us.
At the present we only think of getting into our tiny cottage-
furnishing, & so on. Later we can dance with the springtime,
D. H. LAWRENCE S LETTERS
I hope we shall see you before long.
D. H. Lawrence
LAWRENCE'S CORRECTIONS ON
7f:;e following material is the lecture outline Hussell sent Lawrence early
in July of i9i5, prefaced by Lawrence's criticism of it. Hussell's manu-
script is full of Lawrence's marginal and interlinear disagreements,
superimposed on Russell's typescript. Jhese are here printed in scjuare
brackets and in italics. Words of Russell that Lawrence crossed out are
enclosed in Irench (Quotation marks » « ,- so are corrections of his own
remarks. Jhese last are as well in italics and in scjuare brackets. Law-
rence's comments are written across Russell's manuscript so wildly that
they make exact typographic reproduction impossible, as the facsimile
facing p. 88 demonstrates.
LAWRENCE^S CORRECTIONS ON
'Don't be angry that 3 have scribbled all over your work. But
this which you say is all social criticism-, it isn't social reconstruc-
tion, "you must take a plunge into another element if it is to be
Primarily, you must allow and acknowledge & be prepared
to proceed from the fundamental impulse in all of us towards
7he Iruth, the fundamental passion also, the most fundamental
passion in man, for Wholeness of Movement, Unanimity of
"Purpose, Oneness in Construction. This is the principle of Con-
struction. 7he rest is all criticism, destruction.
Do, do get these essays ready, for the love of Qod. 'But make
them more profound, more philosophical. Make them not popu-
lar, oh, not popular ^>A great idea is «. Jhe best is to attack the
spirit, then proceed to the form, you call the spirit Subjectivism.
Do go to the root of this-, kill it at the root. Show how everything
works upon this great falsity of subjectivism, now. 3 like it where
you take them one by one, 7he State, Marriage, etc. But you
must put in the positive idea. Every living community is a living
State, you must go very deep into the State, & its relation to the
We shall be at 3 2 Well Walk, Tlampstead-Mrs. Radford-
this week-end. 1 must see you.
Above all don't be angry with my scribbling. But above all,
do do these lectures.
7 must lecture— or preach— on religion— give myself away.
'But you must dare very much more than you have done here
—you must dare be positive, not only critical.
I. The disease: disintegration. The remedy: cooperation, not
II. The old cohesions: The State, Property, The Churches,
Law and Morality, Marriage. All based on Power, not on
Liberty and Love. All want fundamental reconstruction.
III. Subjectivism: growth of hard Ego in fight for liberty.
Luther; philosophy. Two forms of subjectivism : my domin-
ion, my dominion, my sensations. Hence imperialism and
decadent vice. No love, but enjoyment of absorbing an-
other ego, or of sensation of love.
IV. War: primitive impulse to war only very partially con-
cerned in this war. Need of excitement; weariness; disillu-
sionment; impulse to suicide. This war not for any object,
but subjective; will stop when people are tired of it.
V. Industrialism : divorce from satisfaction of creative impulse
through capitalism. Need of economic as well as political
democracy: syndicalism. Material goods not main need.
No use in wealth if ennui remains.
VI. Life made whole: by freedom for impulse of growth and
creation, by freedom to love. To be achieved by new stand-
ards, less belief in material goods, then by unity in freedom
through new political institutions. No use reviving what is
dead, or keeping alive what is moribund.
[Cause of Disintegration-. Jhe belief that we cannot know any
fulfilment save what is allowed by our Civilised System. So our
impulse towards truth & unanimity is prevented, each man acts
as if he were in a cage, isolated, beyond good & evil. In this state
there is only sensational experience left.]
I. FORMS OF DISINTEGRATION.
Cheradame's 'Ta Crise Fran^aise''. His cure: boy scouts.
Living for sensation: involves loneliness, prevents sense of
fulfilment, leads on to perpetually stronger sensations because
it has no attainable goal: ends in cruelty and Sadism.
One » great source << [^^form^^ example]-, prevention of chil-
dren; turns thoughts to momentary sensation, isolates act.
[Vrcvention of children is only a result of disintegration— We
prevent children because we want individual power [money].
Hhe act is isolated in us beforehand. 7he prevention is only a
following out of what is. Don't dwell on children so much.]
Another source: living in towns, away from earth.
[We live in towns from choice, when we subscribe to our great
civilised form. Ihe nostalgia for the country is not so important.
What is important is that our towns are false towns— every street
a blow, every corner a stab.]
Another source: in men, specialising of activities; in well-to-
do women, » freedom from house- work and nursing « children.
[lack of any importance whatever, save sensational effect]
Observation of self: result of mental progress.
Most of these things can't be prevented : must be absorbed by
some sanative purpose.
What is wanted is a direct » interest in other people << [no-
no—] of a kind which develops their life and one's own at once.
[What is wanted is a knowledge of the true conditions we all
desire in our souls, putting aside the fetish of what is. IVhat is
wanted is a conception of a >>true^^ "unanimous" society. We
want to create a new Whole: that is our fundamental desire] In
the past, marriage and the family were the great example of this.
Now both have ceased to be. Husband and wife are an obstacle
to each other's development; so are parents and children. This is
due to a ^hardening of the Ego,« [disbelief in the principle on ^
which marriage is founded.] leading us to view others as means .
or hindrances to self-realization. In the struggle for freedom,
there is a »decay of frank interest^ in others. No self worth
realizing is possible without a direct feeling about others. Sub-
jectivism makes the self shrivel. But slavery also is bad. We want
a life which will keep alive the frank interest >Hn others which
one sees in dogs for example <% and we want institutions which
will make this possible without subjecting either or both to
[7^0 no no, don't talk about interest in others. What you mean
is the unanimous impulse, the impulse towards a unanimous
movement. Jt isn't the others we are interested in, it is the Whole,
the Whole oflAs. We want to make a Whole Movement, lAnani-
II. (1) »THE ST ATE. « [What State 7 7here are all kinds
of States. Ours is one of the strongest States in the world] [Ihere
are 2 conceptions of the State now-, i . Monarchy 2. "Democracy.
Democracy is the falser.]
Still strong in Germany and Japan, not elsewhere. Depends
on tribal feeling and allegiance to monarch, [every man's having
his supreme ideal in %ingship, in conceiving the %ing to be the
most Qodlike man.] Both decaying. Two enemies, individualism
and cosmopolitanism. Why serve other people in same State
more than foreigners? Only fear now holds State together.
[7here must he a State, & a government.] ''High treason'' has
a mediaeval flavour. Can't worship the State. [What can 7 wor-
ship?] I feel more allegiance to mathematics than to the State.
[Why?] Syndicalism. French Revolution. Ulster State depends
on war for its strength. If wars were to cease. States would
The State is absurd »because« [when] it is geographical. A
man ought to belong to many groups [a high idea of the truth],
chosen by himself, each with its own government, with only
certain federal powers reserved to the geographical state, and
things like water-supply, which are by nature geographical.
The [existing] State has two functions: internal peace and
external war, police and armaments, security within and inse-
curity without. In so far as State performs economic services,
it does only what could be done otherwise. Its essence is the
suppression of violence within its borders and its promotion else-
where. It involves an entirely artificial division of mankind and
of our duties towards them : towards one group we are bound by
the law, towards the rest only by the prudence of highwaymen.
This is absurd : external and internal anarchy both right or both
wrong. Present plan supported (a) because others do it, and it
is thought the only road to safety (b) because it secures the
pleasures of triumph, dominion and cruelty. These pleasures are
native to man, and yet cannot be obtained in a good community.
Our Utopia must endeavour to compensate in other ways for
the obstacles to inflicting pain.
[you must advance on to the New State, where none of our
sense of Uruth is violated, you must ^Hmagine^"^ give some con-
ception of it, 8c your perfect belief in it]
Strength in »the« [this] State is like discipline on a pirate ship.
The State [as it stands] is in its very essence an evil thing, by its
exclusions, and by the fact that it is a combination of men for
murder and robbery.
[7he state is the expression of a great metaphysical concep-
tion-, the conception of Qod the Creator, who created the earth
according to certain Caws, which, if obeyed, would give hap-
[We proceed to create our State according to our religious
belief, our philosophical conception of life. 7he Xing represents
Qod. Jhe Ministers subject to the %ing are the Archangels sub-
ject to Qod.
[Jhe metaphysical belief is no longer held, therefore our
State is a falsity.
[Ihe State must represent the deepest philosophical or religi-
["What do we believe in— Qod the Creator? or the Son of
!Man7—%ingship or brotherhood, Monarchy or democracy 7—
II. (2) PROPERTY.
Present laws of property quite artificial. Represent power of
sword (rent) and family pride (inheritance). Should readjust
law of property with reference to human happiness. Great
wealth and great poverty are absurd. Inheritance is absurd.
Equality would be a mistake. Object should be to provide every
one as far as possible with (1) an occupation which leaves him
a human being, (2) such a degree of wealth as makes possible the
life suited to his occupation. No need of long hours. Wealth
beyond a point ought to be illegal. Land ought to be national.
Honour and success ought not to be measured by income. In-
crease in productivity through machines is good, but now we
are slaves of machines through belief in wealth, which makes
us work as hard as if there were no machines.
[7he belief in wealth is ^> every « thing-, go for that: the State
»/s<< now ^ established^"^ rests on a belief in wealth. It is a rotten
belief to hold a great Community together.]
II. (3) THE CHURCHES.
Religion, in some form, seems necessary to a good society or
a good individual life. By ''religion'' I mean devotion to an end
outside the individual life, and even, in some sense, outside
human life— like God or truth or art. But the Churches consist
of certain property only given to those who profess certain
beliefs, now known to be false by all who think independently.
Because freedom leads to rejection of these beliefs, churches
oppose freedom, and like all forms of unreason— e.g. patriotism
and loyalty to sovereigns. In thought, they substitute sentiment
for observation, and so encourage subjectivism, which is the root
of the trouble. Religion wants as much transformation as mar-
riage and property.
Men of science have some elements of a possible new religion.
They are the happiest of intelligent men.
[Jhere is no living society possible but one which is held to-
gether by a great religious idea. We only need not be subjectively
religious. But one & all we must act from a profound religious
belief— not ^>human^^ individual,
[If you don't want to assert any religious belief, then criticise
the false church. But it all rests on the Christian !Metaphysic,
which each man severally rejects, but to which we all subscribe
as a State or Society]
II. (4) LAW AND MORALITY.
Law in origin religious. Decalogue and Koran. Lingers in
marriage law: divorce against law of God, therefore only the
rich can have it. No respect for law now. [because the TAeXa-
physic on which it is established is no longer held.] We know
law is human, we know it is not made in the general interest,
we know it gets improved by being broken. We no longer feel
horror of the criminal. All who are rich enough habitually break
Morality is disapproval of community for those who act
against the holders of power. Hence enemies in war are wicked
by definition. Morality »is« [has become] essentially part of the
criminal law: it is a means of bringing self-interest into harmony
with the interests of others. [Jhere is a good morality. Morality
is, when it is real, »/s<< the sense of truth, you must put the posi-
tive side forward, if you are going to oust the old evil] But when
this is seen, it loses efficacy, since it depends on belief in absolute
''wickedness". Certain interests uphold it: (1) that it supports
those in possession, since aggression is wicked, (2) that it pro-
vides an excuse for hatred and punishment, which are pleasures,
(3) that it gives occasion for self-esteem, since we ourselves are
Something more positive than morality must take its place,
since morality is dissolved by thought. [Jhis is so vague. One
must only know that morality is one's inviolable sense of truth.]
What shall we do about criminal law? E.g. if people ill-treat
their children? If men belong to voluntary groups formed by
common purposes, in most cases expulsion from such groups
would be sufficient penalty; consider what pains are taken to
avoid open adultery, because it involves expulsion from Clubs.
If people ill-treat their children, the children must be taken
away, and the people made to pay for the expense, not by way
of penalty, but by way of contracts for other benefits. This will
probably effect all that punishment would effect.
How about burglars? In a decent community, the penalties
against cheating at cards would be quite sufficient, unless a
community of burglars existed. In that case, stricter measures
of boycott might be necessary. But the burglars should be treated
as we treat an enemy state, given every chance to make a treaty
of peace, or to surrender individually, and not punished if they
do not persist in burglary.
Men whose purposes clash with those of most of the com-
munity, like maniacs and congenital criminals, must be restrained
in the general interest. We can not have an absolute principle
against force, but we must look out for ways of minimizing its
[Cet the law be established on the sense of truth, & then you
can use force. Because the truth is greater than any one of us.
But the truth is a growing organism— or our conception of it is.]
What is essence of morality? [7he sense of Iruth [you must
say it— or something like it.)] A man's acts affect others [tVO/
WO/] therefore others are interested in what he does. A moral
act is one comf ormable to the desires of the others affected by the
act. Why should a man be moral? [Why do you use "moral"
when you only mean "well-behaved"]] Because action against
the desires of others makes him disliked, which is disagree-
able to him. [^0/ :N0/ :A/0/ WO/ 5V0/] But this kind
of morality has a very limited efficacy : ist, it does not apply to
large groups, like states, for the fact that Germans hate us is
not disagreeable to us; 2nd, if ''immoral" impulses exist, they
will often be strong enough to conquer self-interest and fear
of being disliked.
The problem for the statesman should be to find out that kind
of organisation and education which will prevent [which will
educate the sense of ^^ right and<^ truth & justice, & train us all
to act from this supreme impulse.] "immoral'' impulses, rather
than one which merely punishes the indulgence of them. ''Im-
moral'' impulses are of »two kinds: (1) merely demanding more
than one's share of personal goods, (2) positive cruelty, envy,
love of power, etc.<< [one kind: the acting from the sense of the
human Self, instead of from the sense of Jruth. 7he 7abians
are immoral] The first of these is easily regulated by institutions
and appeal to justice. [J^his is not good] The second is almost
always the result of a life in which some vital instinct is balked;
it grows out of celibacy, military discipline, slavery, etc. and can
be cured by giving a free life to everyone. It will then remain
only in cripples, hunchbacks, etc.
law and Morality (Cont. ) . ^^ j /
lla V^A^ ^^ \fT\jSf^^'^ i® a880nc9 of m orality ? / A/i^j^'a^fia'af f^^Jrg^l^s
I- r /\ "^Ji®3?@for© others -;
•"T"*"""*'*' Z^ / mors.l act is on© oc
i\ ."T^ // / raorai act; IS OR0 oonforrtia'ble to the deeiree of the
ro interested in what he does. A
pj '^ , ^^JJ^.^>hGr8 affected bj-^.the act- Why should e man be moral?
_,.,„.-'--''^ 'Z f\'^ Because a^fiou. sgaln^ the depirp* of oth/ranrnke^^'^^
* /|vv| ^ i). ^K^-*^- aislllcoa. ^mm Ib aisailWeT^le t(uM .But i^^-kitf^'^
/^'Va ^' ^ ' £#^ *5^ morality has a very limited efficacy: let , it does
irf'jy^ \ ,.^U,--^Jnot apply to largo f^roupe, like stp.tee, for the fact
,11"' that (rerr.mns hate us is not disagreeable to us; 2nd .
if "i.ynmorsl" Ijripulses exist, they will often be strong
er^ouffh to oomtier self-int-rest end fear of being dis-
'1 I ' il i I 1^® Droblea for the statesman should he to find out that
• '''' .-. ^ ' /^ 1..^, J Irind of organisation and ©ducotion which will/ pr event.
He ^^-^ ,^M,,^mi^ ^ ^ ,^S,,rtfftrr ^
f* #*' a* r ^-H'' '*' yVoC^*^^^-'^^^" iSBlliSM* lather than one which merely pun-
h kl /'ii'^l lisArw% ishes the ^indulgence of them. "Immoral" imnulsee ere
i*. . I . of twe-MMs:' Clt-i]iBT~ey^->*9ia5^
/ I cXif .,.aM&3:::&.>-Qj- "p er eo'^ ^^^ g#oa ,a , („ f ^) ^ fl lt j^ ve nm1; a> 1 -. y , ftHYy .. ,
these is easiljr re-
gulati^^^y i^-tou^t^^MS^ and appeal to justice. The
second is apsff^ alwajrs the i-esult of a lifo in which
some Tital instinct ie balked; it s^^owsout of celibacy,
military discipline, slaTrery, etc, rnd can be cured by
giTlng 8 freo life to everyone. It will then remain
A page from RusseH's manuscript showing Lawrence's corrections
Justice and liberty are what remains of morality. These the
statesman must respect.
The principle of 7ao. Growing like a tree. The principle of
growth in a man must not be crushed. It is not crushed neces-
sarily by preventing a man from doing some definite thing, but
it is often crushed by forcing him to do something else. A man
who cannot marry the woman he loves may come to love some-
one else, but a man who marries a woman he does not love loses
something of the instinctive life that makes growth. So a man
need not adopt the profession he would choose, if some other
similar profession is open to him/ but if he has to adopt a profes-
sion repugnant to his instinct, his soul suffers. In a good com-
munity. Napoleon could not have been allowed the profession
of his choice, but he might have found happiness as a pioneer in
Western America. He could not have found happiness as a
[And what is the principle of growth: is it not the prescience
of conscience that which is ^^needed^^ to be,- in the grown tissue
is all the ungrown tissue of all time-, this ungrown tissue knows
its own »/<3ii7S<< relations . . this knowledge in us 7 call the sense
of truth. But it is as real, much realer, than all the tangible or
obvious impulses we talk of.]
II. (5) MARRIAGE.
» Resultant of sex instinct plus jealousy. « [Wo/] Depended
for success on husband's authority, admitted as a right by wife.
He free, she willing slave. This was possible. Mutual liberty
now demanded, makes old form of marriage impossible. Fight
for liberty by women prevents both them and men from getting
satisfaction in marriage. Women want to preserve their individu-
ality; this makes union impossible. Relations become trivial and
temporary, a pleasure, not a satisfaction, an excitement, not an
attainment. The old tight family can't be revived. It depended
on beliefs now known to be false. Seriousness in sex relations
must be restored otherwise. At present, children only in mar-
riage, not in other unions. This one source of harm. Sex relations
bad without love, also without children. At present institutions
prevent either love or else children in most relations.
Successful monogamy [now] depends upon the successful
substitution of habit for emotion »in the course << of years. [SVo /]
A character which does not readily form habits, or does not find
habits an adequate safeguard against emotion, is not suited to
monogamy. [7he desire for monogamy is profound in us. But
the most difficult thing in the world is to find a mate. It is still
true, that a man & wife are one flesh. A man alone is only frag-
mentary—also a woman. Completeness is in marriage. But State-
marriage is a lie.] No one who is alive will wish to be the slave
of habit, or to lose the capacity for emotion. For this reason,
monogamy now often harmful. Sex-relations without a common
life are bad : (1) they emphasise sex too much, (2) they are excit-
ing and disturbing, (3) they cannot bring satsif action of instinct.
But the common life need not last a lifetime. To most men, the
intention of children, and its realization, are essential to satisfac-
tion, but not the constant companionship of the children. Chil-
dren ought to be left with the mother when a marriage breaks
up, except in exceptional cases.
A sex-relation entered into by either side for other than
sexual reasons— e.g. money— is vile; this appHes to prostitution
and most marriages. It degrades both man and woman, since it
involves lack of reverence. Any relation which aims merely at
pleasure fails to bring satisfaction. We ought to remove all
obstacles to the combination of love, children, and a common
life, which constitutes a good marriage. This involves opposition
to monogamy and prostitution, but some tolerance of light rela-
tions as experiments.
All these institutions are based on Power, Power of the King,
»of the husband, of the feudal baron, of God.« [>>a false <■< an
obsolete metaphysic] Since we no longer believe in Power, all
live on only by inertia, and all are decaying. Hence hypocrisy.
Institutions are based on the relation of Master and Slave, where
the master lived a free life, and the slave had the ''duty'' of min-
istering to him. Such ''duty'' as we can now have must be not
towards a master, but towards an ideal, and it must be of the
nature of love for an ideal. The relations of human beings should
be based on mutual liberty, with Love. Political institutions so
based would be quite different from ours.
The hardening and separation of the individual. In the Roman
Empire, fully developed in Stoicism, which made my virtue the
end of life. Mediaeval Empire and Church swept away the in-
dividual. Luther began to revive him. In philosophy German
idealism and English sensationalism did the same. [(Jo develop
thisl] Two sides of subjectivism, will and sensation,- one leads
to militarism, the other to decadent vice. But the Wille zur
Macht is less finished subjectivism than the other, since power
demands an Other over whom we have power. Hence it belongs
to a less developed stage than sensationalism. Now-a-days, what
people enjoy when they fall in love is not the beloved object,
but the "experience", their own emotion. And when a young
woman first becomes a mother, every one begs her to analyse
the experience. Hence no important relation results. Hence uni-
[3 think this is best.]
There have been wars for important objects. This not one
Why men like the war : (only those who stay at home count
those who go have no voice) because it relieves tedium; because
it is a contest calling out primitive passions normally unexer-
cised; because ordinary life is unsatisfying and tame; because
triumph (which is expected) is delightful; because discomfort
makes men look for some one to hate; because there is a lust of
destruction, including self-destruction; because in war men real-
ize the magnitude of their State, which is a source of pride.
Modern weariness like that of late Roman Empire.
No nation is fighting for any tangible object, but because it
pleases them to fight. Gradually weariness is replacing love of
violence, and bringing peace.
To prevent wars, men must not be balked in their instincts,
since this leads to cruelty; they must have opportunities of show-
ing manhood and running risks. [Ihis too is good]
[Cfhe key to this is the falsity of having for an aim the produc-
tion of wealth. Our aim should he the establishment of 7ruth.]
Many evils in it at present, but we can't go back to condition
before. Machinery and large economic organizations are un-
Evils: Life in town divorces men from instinctive satisfactions,
such as smell of earth and sight of green fields. Exciting pleasures
take place of satisfactions. This applies to the rich and the poor
alike. Vastness of organizations and concentration in hands of
capitalists, prevents employees from feeling any pride in their
work. There is no result in which they can feel the satisfaction
of the creator. A railway porter who has a little garden will work
in his garden with a joy he never can feel in working for a rail-
way company. Much industrial work is mechanical and monoto-
nous. Even the work of directors of industry has no tangible
object— it aims merely at wealth, which is an indefinite and
always receding goal— it is not like artistic creation, perpetually
reaching some achievement, and it is divorced from the material
of the work. There is no use in merely more money. Miners earn
good wages but are too uncivilized to enjoy them. No use in
shorter hours, unless accompanied with means of rational enjoy-
ment, and with education. No use abolishing poverty if ennui
Palliations : education, shorter hours, everybody have a gar-
»Root of evil« [Re - construction] : that those employed have
no voice in directing the business. Syndicalism suggests cure.
Democracy should be economic as well as political. Democracy
gives sense of self-direction in enterprises which require coopera-
tion. Railway-men should elect station-masters, station-masters
should elect directors. Then a man could take a pride in his
railway, and think out its problems. The staff of a newspaper
ought to decide its policy. No good having the State the sole
employer. The State is too big and remote; it does not give a
man the sense of directing his own work.
VI. LIFE MADE WHOLE.
Most men now believe that material goods make happiness;
even socialists imagine that with better wages working men
would be happy. Yet the rich are not happy. People need a cer-
tain modicum of goods for happiness but this not the main need.
Some men can be happy through religion, but they are few.
[7his is subjective religion. But unless the religious idea be living
8c extant, no one is happy.]
Most men need two things : love leading to children, and work
which gives an outlet to their creative impulse.
Most women need freedom in love, and secure possession of
In modern world children avoided for the sake of freedom,
pride in work prevented by capitalism. If the lives of men and
women were more satisfying, there would be less envy, hatred,
cruelty, love of dominion, desire seeking titillations rather than
No use reviving what is dead, or keeping alive what is mori-
Must free our souls, live in vision, make better world vivid
to our imaginations. Must achieve a new marriage of instinct
and way of life, by less belief in material goods, by new political
institutions giving unity of freedom. No need of hate or conflict:
only the failure of inward joy brings them about. [Jhere will
always be hate & conflict. It is a principle of growth: every bud
must burst its cover, & the cover doesn't want to be burst. But
let our hatred & conflict be really part of our vital growth, the
outcome of our growing, not of our desire for sensation.] We
first must get joy through religion, through spiritual freedom;
then we can give it to others and bring about a happier life.
There is in men something that may be called the principle of
growth— in old-fashioned language, the Soul— which is injured
in industrialism. Take professions: a man becomes a journaHst,
and has to write for a paper whose politics he dislikes. This kills
his pride in work, his sense of independence, and makes him
cynical, mentally sterile or even devastating. A man becomes a
doctor: if he is a general practitioner he has to fall in with hum-
bug; if a specialist, he has to marry a heiress. In either case, his
integrity is gone. A man becomes a poHtician: he not only has
to swallow the Party programme, but he has to pretend to be a
saint, to conciliate reHgious supporters; no man can enter Par-
liament without hypocrisy. Parsons have to tell lies in the most
solemn way in order to get ordained. In most continental coun-
tries, learned men in youth have to profess agreement with their
professors before they can get a start. In America they have to
go for quick results rather than slow solid work. In no profession
is there any respect for the native pride without which a man
cannot remain whole; the world ruthlessly crushes it out, be-
cause it implies independence, and men desire to enslave others
more than they desire to be free themselves. Inward freedom is
infinitely precious : we must create a society which preserves it.
A NOTE ON THE CHRONOLOGY
OF THE LETTERS
A NOTE ON THE CHRONOLOGY
OF THE LETTERS
At the time of his correspondence with Bertrand Russell,
Lawrence often dated his letters with the ''London, Wednes-
day'' kind of notation. This is noticeable in the Huxley collec-
tion,* which has many of the letters through this period (par-
ticularly some of those to Lady Ottoline Morrell) placed only
by guesswork. Aldous Huxley was a shrewd guesser and in the
main was skillful at working out the position of various undated
letters from internal evidence. Most of the mistakes he made
were due to lack of corroborative material, such as the corre-
spondence in the present volume, part of which shows that
Huxley's arrangement of the letters in his edition was sometimes
wrong— a matter he could not always be held responsible for,
since he had no access to the present collection. And in turn,
some other letters from this period, coming to light in the future,
* 7be Letters of D. !H. Lawrence, edited by Aldous Huxley (New York : The Viking
Press, 1932). Itemized here as Huxley.
A NOTE ON THE CHRONOLOGY
may show some of my own guesswork to be wrong. All that can
be done now is to explain the basis of this guesswork.
I have put a date in brackets at the head of each undated let-
ter. Naturally, the correspondence that Lawrence himself dated
presented no problem. The first undated letter in this collection
is the one designated Number 4. It has only 'Monday' on its
dateline, but it was written at Greatham; since the Lawrences
left Greatham in August 1915, it was obviously written before
then. It presents few tangible clues; one of them is the notation,
'Thank you very much for the umbrella.' Since an umbrella is
hardly the sort of thing one man would mail to another as a
present, I assume that there must have been rain when Lawrence
was leaving Russell's house in Cambridge at the end of his visit
there, and that Russell must have given him an umbrella to use
on the way to the station, telling him not to bother about return-
Since Letter Number 3, dated March 2, 1915, reveals that
Lawrence was planning to visit Cambridge early in March, the
umbrella reference helps to esablish Letter 4 as having been
written during that month.
That Lawrence did not mention the Cambridge visit in Num-
ber 4 is no proof that this is not the first communication between
the two men after that visit. Although Lawrence was not above
writing a 'Collins,' as the Huxley collection shows, he did not
always observe this custom. And that the Cambridge trip was a
disappointment to him may be seen from the letter I have num-
A NOTE ON THE CHRONOLOGY
bered 5, and from the one he wrote to Lady Ottoline Morrell,
which appears on page 238 of the Huxley edition, as well as
from Frieda Lawrence's report quoted in the Introduction to the
This Letter Number 4 was written on a Monday— by my
guess, a week after Lawrence's return from Cambridge, on
March 15. Russell perhaps wrote an answer to it, something to
the effect that the university town and the people he met there
must have depressed Lawrence, for in his 'Friday' letter— which
I assume is Friday of that same week (March 19), and conse-
quently Letter Number 5— Lawrence begins 'It is true Cam-
bridge made me very black and down. I cannot bear its smell
of rottenness, marsh-stagnancy . . .' and so on. Lawrence was
usually outspoken and not hypocritical in these matters; that is
why I take it for granted that instead of the usual 'Collins' he
wrote Letter Number 4, saying merely he was sad and had not
done much writing of his 'philosophy.' But now that Russell
has brought up the subject of Cambridge, Lawrence in his Friday
note ungraciously tells his recent host what he thinks of that
host's environment. Also— for a bit more evidence— Lawrence
still cannot go on with his 'philosophy'; he is still depressed.
This is another link between those two letters I believe to have
been written in the same week.
Letter Number 6 seems to have been written on Thursday,
April 29. It is dated only 'Thrsday,' but mentions that Lawrence
is going to London on (Saturday) May 8; later it says that
A NOTE ON THE CHRONOLOGY
Lawrence hopes to see Russell there 'next weekend but one/
The 'next weekend but one' being that of May 8, the letter
should have been written on Thursday, April 29.
The next letter requiring use of conjecture is that placed
as Number 10. Since this one asks whether Russell is 'doing the
lectures/ it must have been written before Lawrence's July 1 5
discussion of 'your lecture on the State/ and even before Law-
rence's July 9 statement to Lady Ottoline, 'He sent me a synop-
sis of a set of lectures on Political Ideas.' (Huxley, p. 244.) And
this Letter Number 1 seems to be later than Number 9, which
Lawrence dated the 8th of June; in Number 9 and in the letters
preceding, it is apparent that the idea of the lectures had not
yet been born. Lawrence on June 8 was urging Russell to save
himself for a bigger effort than that represented by his journal-
istic attacks on Lord Northcliffe. The two men must go deeper
than NorthcHffe, and beyond him: 'Let us wait a little while,
till we can assemble the nucleus of a new belief, get a new centre
of attack . . . [Y]ou are coming to us on the \9th. Then we will
thresh out this business.'
Letter Number 8, June 2, also mentions the expected visit on
the 1 9th. An undated letter in Huxley, to Lady Ottoline (page
242), placed amid the June and July correspondence, says
'Bertie Russell will come next Thursday, to stay till Saturday,'
and the following letter, also to Lady Ottoline, says 'Bertie
Russell is here.' This is dated 'Sunday'— Russell must either have
arrived a day or so later than expected, or have stayed over.
A NOTE ON THE CHRONOLOGY
June 20 was a Sunday that year; it is difficult not to believe that
this letter to Lady Ottoline was not written on that day. After
telling a bit about Russell, Lawrence goes on to say, 'We think
to have a lecture hall in London in the autumn, and give lec-
tures . . / This evidence indicates that the notion of the lectures
was first hit upon during the weekend of June 19-20, 1915.
This would certainly place Letter 10 after that date, and
decidedly between Letter 9 (June 8) and Letter 11 (July 15).
It is possible to investigate this Letter Number 1 further, and
find good reasons for placing it in July. First, there is some
internal evidence. Number 1 1 , July 1 5, has strong resemblances,
in its capital-and-labor passages, to the undated letter to Lady
Ottoline on page 239 in Huxley. In this letter Lawrence said,
The war is resolving itself into a war between Labour and Cap-
ital. Unless real leaders step forward, to lead in the light of a
wide-embracing philosophy, there will be another French Revo-
lution muddle.' Lawrence writes to Russell in the July 1 5 letter.
This war is going to develop into the last great war between
labour and capital. It will be a ghastly chaos of destruction, if it
is left to Labour to be constructive. The fight must be given a
higher aim than the triumph of Labour, or we shall have another
The similarities of thought and expression here suggest that
the two letters were written either on the same day or within a
few days of each other, thereby making Huxley's placement of
the one to Lady Ottoline— before June 1— erroneous (Huxley
A NOTE ON THE CHRONOLOGY
of course lacked the evidence of the July 15 note to Russell).
It might be objected that the similarities quoted above merely
represented Lawrence's way of thinking during that entire sum-
mer, but the seasoned student of Lawrence's correspondence will
attest that Lawrence habitually used somewhat similar phrasing
in letters written on the same day or on successive days. And
during that summer of 1915, Lawrence was extremely protean
in his thought-processes, as an examination of the letters in the
present volume will indicate; he would hardly be using the same
expressions over any considerable period. In the foregoing quo-
tations, the lines to Russell show at least a slight development
over those to Lady Ottoline: which does not mean that they
could not have been written immediately afterward.
On this evidence, I would date the quoted letter to Lady
Ottoline in July, and as close to the 1 5th (prior to it) as possible.
This dating is important in considering the present sequence of
Lawrence correspondence, for that same letter to Lady Ottoline
has further resemblances to another of the letters to Russell. In
this same specimen from page 239 of the Huxley collection, we
find Lawrence telling Lady Ottoline, 'I shall write all my phil-
osophy again. Last time I came out of the Christian camp. This
time I must come out of these early Greek philosophers.' In
Letter Number 1 to Russell (which I am trying to establish as
belonging to the early part of July 1915), Lawrence says, 'I
have dropped writing my philosophy, but I go on working very
hard in my soul. I shall lift up my voice in the autumn, & in
A NOTE ON THE CHRONOLOGY
connection with you, not apart. I have been wrong, much too
Christian in my philosophy. These early Greeks have clarified
The first statement in the last passage does not contradict
what Lawrence had told Lady Ottoline, that he would write his
philosophy again : the explanation to Russell is merely another
version of that. And the duplicate statements about the influ-
ences of Christianity and the early Greeks suggest that once
again there is a time-parity between two of these letters under
consideration. Let it be said again that Lawrence was developing
in a volatile fashion that summer and would hardly have held
the same concepts of this kind over a long period of time, and
that in any event a study of his letters will reveal that he was
ordinarily not repetitious except in passages written on the same
or on succeeding days.
Consequently I believe that the letter to Lady Ottoline on
page 239 in Huxley, and Letters 10 and 11 in the Russell set,
were all written within a few days of each other, with Num-
ber 11— dated July 15 and the only one with a date— as the
latest of the three. Therefore I have dated Number 1 as having
been written in July also. Lawrence put 'Wednesday' at the top
of the letter; I have assumed that this is July 6, three days before
Lawrence wrote Lady Ottoline Morrell that Russell had sent
the synopsis of his lectures.
Letter 1 1 is merely dated '15 July,' and Lawrence did not give
the year, but that is easily determined by the Greatham address,
A NOTE ON THE CHRONOLOGY
where the Lawrences resided from January to August of 1915.
Three more undated letters remain. The first of them is Num-
ber 17. Its superscription is 'Dec. 1915' and 'Monday.' The
brevity of this letter makes its dating particularly difficult, but
it can be accomplished. Its heading of 'Byron Villas, Hamp-
stead,' places it before December 21 (on Monday, December 20,
Lawrence had told Katherine Mansfield that he and his wife
were leaving Hampstead on the following day). I would place
the letter early in the month. On December 12, Lawrence was
telling Katherine Mansfield that he and his wife planned to
spend Christmas with his sister, a statement at odds with the
one to Russell that he and his wife hoped to leave for America
'on the 24th of this month, if possible.' Lawrence also wrote
Lady Ottoline Morrell on the 12th that he was leaving London
on the 20th for his sister's place in Derbyshire. This statement
also does not agree with the one in Letter 17 to Russell to the
effect that Lawrence hoped to leave England by the 24th. He had
told Murry on the 4th (Huxley, p. 292) that he hoped to leave
England on the Crown de Leone on the 20th, and he had men-
tioned that ship and that date a day or so earlier in the letters
to Lady Ottoline Morrell and Lady Cynthia Asquith dated
(perhaps erroneously, as we shall see) on December 3. By Mon-
day, December 6, that particular trip must have been called off,
and the chance of another must have come into view: hence the
mention of the 24th to Russell as a possible escape day. But by
the 12th Lawrence was talking of Christmas in Derbyshire. I
A NOTE ON THE CHRONOLOGY
therefore place the Russell 'Monday' letter, Number 17, at
December 6, 1915.
The next letter to be dated, Number 19, is headed: 'Ripley-
Derby,' with 'Wednesday' as the only other given clue. The
Derbyshire address should make this letter easy to date, since
the Lawrences were up there only about a week— but, judging
from the other letters of this period in the Huxley volume, dated
by Lawrence himself, I can conclude only that Lawrence's per-
sonal calender was awry.
The wrongness begins in the first December letter in the
Huxley volume, page 287, to Lady Cynthia, which Lawrence
heads from Hampstead, 'Sunday, 3rd December, 1915.' The
3rd of December was a Friday in 1915.
In the comparative quiet of the Vale of Health, perhaps one
day was like another : but Lawrence was not an absent-minded
type— rather, he was alert and practical. How his calendar be-
came so mixed, and stayed that way, is a mystery too deep for
fathoming at this remove.
Another December 3 letter, on the page before, does not say
'Sunday,' and speaks of the visit that morning of Prince Bibesco.
This is proof that the Lawrences had some contact with the
outside world: it may be supposed that Prince Bibesco may have
mentioned the day of the week, since there is a difference between
a Sunday-morning call and a Friday-morning call. But Huxley
may have put these two December 3 letters in the wrong order
(indeed, several pages later he has a letter to Middleton Murr>^
A NOTE ON THE CHRONOLOGY
and Katherine Mansfield, dated November 25, wrongly
placed)— the one mentioning Prince Bibesco to Lady Ottoline
Morrell may have been written in the afternoon, subsequent to
Prince Bibesco's visit; the other one could have been written in
the morning, before Prince Bibesco's arrival— since this letter
was addressed to Lady Cynthia Asquith, it seems likely that
Lawrence would have mentioned the prince. There is of course
the possibility that the letters were written on two different days,
one on (Friday) the 3rd, the other on Sunday (the 5th).
I have gone into this at some length in order to demonstrate
how difficult it is to attempt to date the December 1915 letters.
For Lawrence was inaccurate once again that month, when he
dated a letter from Ripley to Lady Cynthia Asquith, Thursday,
24th December, 1915.' December 24 was a Friday. This is of
especial concern here, since Letter Number 19 of the Russell
series was possibly written during that week or the next. Another
note of that week is puzzling as to exact date : the one to Lady
Ottoline Morrell on page 301 in Huxley. This is headed
'Wednesday' only; it was postmarked '23 Dec, 15.' The 23rd
was a Thursday— this letter, from '2 Hurst Close, Garden Sub-
urb, N.W.,' may have been written on Wednesday the 22nd
and may not have reached the post office till the following day.
It is hard, on the basis of the evidence within reach, to estab-
lish the date of the Lawrences' arrival in Derbyshire. It was
possibly on the 22nd of December, more likely— in view of the
postmark of the 23rd on the note to Lady Ottoline— on the
A NOTE ON THE CHRONOLOGY
23rd or the 24th. The wrongly dated letter to Lady Cynthia
(Thursday, 24th December, 1915') may have been written on
Thursday the 23rd, and the confusion in dates may be due to
Lawrence's traveling on that day. In this case, however, I am
more inclined to think that the letter to Lady Cynthia was writ-
ten on Friday the 24th— a man coming to a house where there
were small children, and a family gathering, should have known
the date of the day before Christmas.
Lawrence had written Katherine Mansfield on the 20th that
he would stay at his sister's till the 29th; and later we find him,
in a correctly dated letter from Cornwall to Lady Cynthia
CTTiursday, 30th December'— Huxley, p. 305), saying 'We
came here tonight.' And in the preceding letter to Lady Ottoline
Morrell (also correctly dated: 'Monday, 27 Dec, 1915'),
Lawrence writes that he will go to Cornwall on Thursday. And
in Letter Number 19 to Russell, he says 'We go to Cornwall
on Thursday— 30th.' He does not say 'tomorrow,' as he would
if the 'Wednesday' referred to December 29. The only other
Wednesday on which Lawrence could have been at Ripley was
the 22nd; he could have written to Russell immediately after
arriving. The colliers he mentions could have been seen by him
on the way from the station. But the possibility that Lawrence
had the day of the week wrong is so great that I am putting the
date December 22-23, 1915 between brackets at the top of this
The last item to be dealt with is Number 22. Lawrence gave
A NOTE ON THE CHRONOLOGY
this letter no heading except 'Saturday/ Its salutation is 'My
dear Russell/ like the Cornwall letters of February 11 and
March 9. I believe it should be placed between these two.
Its references to Heseltine's fear of conscription and to his
publishing scheme make it coeval with the February letters in
the Huxley volume. And in Letter 21 to Russell, February 11,
1916, Lawrence had first spoken of the publishing scheme (a
February 1 1 letter to Murry also mentions Heseltine's publish-
ing ambitions to Murry for the first time; Huxley, p. 324)
as it was working out, though he did not speak of Heseltine. But
in Letter 22 he says, 'Heseltine is starting the publishing scheme'
—which makes it naturally sequent to Letter 21.
But on which Saturday in February was this written? In the
February 1 1 letter there is no mention of the Lawrences' mov-
ing; other references in the Huxley collection indicate that the
Lawrences expected to use the Beresford place for another
month. But apparently Beresford had written asking to have it
back earlier, and the Lawrences seem to have left on Febru-
ary 29. In Letter 22 to Russell, Lawrence says, 'We have got to
clear out of this place in a week's time. We are looking for
another house.' I do not think this dates Letter 22 on Saturday,
February 26, but rather on Saturday, February 19.
For on the 24th Lawrence wrote Beresford that they would
leave on the following Tuesday; since this was the 29th, it was
only five days away, and would have been only three days from
the 26th. A letter (in Huxley) to Middleton Murry and Kath-
A NOTE ON THE CHRONOLOGY
erine Mansfield on February 17 shows that Lawrences appar-
ently not expecting the Beresfords back until March 9— but
between the 17th and the 19th, Beresford must have written
Lawrence that he would like to have the cottage back by the
first of March. So Lawrence tells Russell that he and Mrs.
Lawrence have to move out in a week. Also, if Letter 22 had
been written on Saturday the 26th, it would have come after
the one to Beresford on the 24th, and in that letter Lawrence
states that he has found a house near Zennor, St. Ives. But in
Letter 22 he is looking for a house.
Further corroboration is given by Lawrence's letter to Lady
Ottoline on February 1 5, 1916 (Huxley, p. 326 ff.), saying that
a letter had just come in from 'Bertie,' who was miserable, lived
only for trivialities, etc. 'I feel sorry for him, but my heart
doesn't soften to him just yet. . . .' Surely this letter from Rus-
sell is the one Lawrence is answering in the first paragraph of
Number 22; and the ship metaphor seems a continuation of the
one he had used, more grimly, in the February 7 letter to Lady
Ottoline. (Huxley, p. 321.) Therefore the 'Saturday' in the
Lawrence letter which I have numbered 22 must be Saturday,
February 19, 1916.
Lawrence would have mocked at all this doctor-of-philoso-
phizing about the dates of his letters, but for the sake of those
who want to read this correspondence in its correct sequence, the
elaborate explanations are necessary.
' \ M. II
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Letters to Bertrand Russell, mam
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